Sanctions against Russia are working but need to be strengthened, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a taped interview with Fox News on Friday.
“Sanctions definitely work, and Russia is definitely afraid of sanctions. It puts them out of comfort. It drops down their economy. But there’s a question of how sanctions are working. We are showing and telling the United States and European leaders, everybody must work together quickly,” Zelensky said.
“They must have an impact on the oligarchs, on the President of Russia and on all the parties and on the country in general. The United States should continue working on this if the US would like to have successful negotiations.”
Alleged helicopter attack: During the interview, Zelensky responded to Russian accusations that Ukraine mounted a helicopter attack on a fuel depot inside Russian territory Friday.
"I’m sorry I do not discuss any of my orders as commander in chief, the leader of this state. There are things which I only share with military armed forces of Ukraine and when they talk with me,” Zelensky said, when asked if he had ordered such an attack.
“You need to understand that on that territory that you mentioned they were placing their shooting systems and were firing missiles themselves.”
Some context: A huge fire broke out Friday at a fuel depot in Belgorod, a Russian city near the Ukrainian border — which Russia said was caused by an air strike from Ukrainian helicopters. CNN is so far unable to verify this claim and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry told CNN it has no information about the incident.
No land-for-peace deal: Zelensky also said he would not be willing to trade Ukrainian territory in exchange for a peace deal with Russia.
“We do not trade our territory. So the question of territorial integrity and sovereignty is out of discussion,” Zelensky said.