Currently, neither the West nor Kiev show “political will” for peace, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says Maria Zakharova. © Sputnik / Stanislav Krasilnikov

Moscow will not allow Ukraine to continue its existence as a “Nazi state,” threatening both Russia and other nations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

Zakharova made the remarks in an exclusive interview with AFP, published in full on Saturday. Asked whether the goals of “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, Zakharova confirmed that was the case. Moreover, the events of the Ukrainian crisis have shown Russia’s decision to launch its special military operation was a necessity, she stressed.

“From the very beginning of the hostilities, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazis have been cynically using the civilian population as ‘human shields’ and brutally treating Russian prisoners of war. Their main goal in this conflict is to kill as many Russians as possible,” Zakharova explained.

We will not allow the existence on our borders of an aggressive Nazi state from whose territory there is a danger for Russia and its neighbors.

Asked about prospects of somehow settling the conflict, Zakharova said that the only way to reach a “lasting peace” was, effectively, meeting all Russia’s demands. “It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, acknowledge new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country,” she explained.

‘High risk’ of defeat – Zelensky’s top aide ‘High risk’ of defeat – Zelensky’s top aide

Russia remains ready to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, the spokeswoman confirmed, stating that Moscow has never refused to do so. However, to make such negotiations possible, “the Kiev regime and its Western curators” must take “practical steps and show goodwill.” Thus far, neither of them had shown such “political will,” she added.

“A comprehensive, sustainable and just resolution of the conflict over Ukraine depends, to a large extent, on addressing its very causes. The West must stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weaponry, while Kiev must cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Zakharova explained, referring to the four formerly-Ukrainian regions of Zaporozhye, Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which got incorporated into Russia after referendums last fall. (RT)