In a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent statement that Ukrainians and Russians are one nation, Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky said that the only thing Ukraine and Russia still share is a border.
“I thought for a long time about the ‘lots in common’ between Ukraine and Russia. The reality is that today, after the annexation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas, the only thing remaining ‘in common’ is the state border. 2,295 kilometers and 400 meters ‘in common’,” Zelensky wrote on Facebook.
He said that the search for common ground could potentially resume after Ukraine is given back control over the entire length of the border.
“The ban on oil product exports, the opening of stations to issue passports to residents of the occupied territories and the imprisonment of Ukrainians does not bring a reconciliation of relations between our countries one iota closer. You can’t exactly call such relations ‘brotherly’,” the Ukrainian President-elect remarked.
Zelensky also commented on the decision by the Russian TV channel NTV to broadcast an old show in which he is the host.
“I would like to point out that it was involvement in a TV show that made me popular in Ukraine and ultimately helped me to become the President-elect of Ukraine. Broadcasting this show, taken many years ago, looks strange – I have no ambition to establish a political career in Russia,” he wrote.
On 29 April, Putin once again referred to Ukrainians and Russians as “one nation” and spoke about the need for “common citizenship”.