The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stated that he did not call for pre-emptive strikes by NATO against Russia, but meant pre-emptive sanctions.
“When I said ‘preventive kick’, in English it sounds like this (switches to English) – preventive kick (preventive kick), not attack (attack), these are different things. That’s why, when you speak English or Ukrainian, it’s important that the translation was as correct as possible, because the Russians then always use it as they do now.
I just want to tell them, the Russians, that the whole civilized world knows that we are not terrorists, we did not start this war. I have said this before, during the three years of my presidency we offered to enter into a dialogue, we were looking for an opportunity to just talk to President Putin, just to talk on the phone – they rejected everything.
That is why I called – this was even before February 24, before the invasion – I said that we are raising the topic of preventive strikes, sanction strikes. Not dialogue, not words, but blows – that’s what I meant. And now the European society, first of all Britain – they have always supported us, thank you very much – and the USA, said: yes, you were right, we had to get involved, impose sanctions, strike pre-emptively so that Russia and its society would be afraid [почати війну]- said Zelensky.
The President of Ukraine believes that Russia is beginning to “prepare its society” for a possible nuclear attack on Ukraine. “It is very dangerous. They are not ready to do it, to use (nuclear weapons). But they start talking. They don’t know if they will use it or not. I think it’s dangerous to even talk about it,” he added.
“That’s why I said: you should strike pre-emptively, not attack. That’s what I meant. And the Russians just translated those words in a way that was beneficial to them and started repeating it everywhere.
And I meant sanctions. If they said “nuclear weapons”, even thought – you have to implement them. You have a nuclear package of sanctions, Europe has the opportunity to implement them – for example, after they occupied our nuclear power plant. This is very dangerous. This is what I mean,” Zelensky explained.
It will be recalled that the day before, during a speech at the Australian Lowy Institute, Zelenskyi said that the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance can deter Russia from using nuclear weapons by carrying out “preventive strikes”. Russian propaganda picked up on the statement and began to claim that Zelensky called on NATO to launch nuclear strikes on Russian territory. And the spokesman of the president specified that it was about the application of preventive sanctions.