Source Business Standard

NEW DELHI, India--Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he has "cooled down regarding the question of a NATO membership for his country", which was a key reason why Russia went to war with its neighbour, the US' ABC News reported on Tuesday.

The leader of the war-torn nation was also reported to have gone a step ahead in mending fences with Vladimir Putin, stating that he was open to discussing the status of the two breakaway pro-Russian domains of Donetsk and Lugansk which Moscow insists are independent republics.

"I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that ... NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine," Zelenskyy said in a televised interview. "The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia."

Zelenskyy also said Ukraine did not want to be a "country that is begging something on its knees" and he "did not want to be that President".

Russia has long been against the idea of Ukraine's proposed NATO membership.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to give its full name, was formed during the cold-war era in order to check the dominance of the erstwhile Soviet Union in Europe.

However, after the USSR was fragmented, the alliance continued to expand further east to embrace former Soviet domains.