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About Putin, risks of war and peace: Zelenskyy's main statements in Davos

About Putin, risks of war and peace: Zelenskyy's main statements in Davos Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, today, on January 16, spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with a special address. During this, he called Russian dictator Vladimir Putin the sole cause of conflicts in the world, explained the threats posed by freezing the war, and urged to join the Ukrainian "peace formula."

RBC-Ukraine, in the material below, has compiled the main statements of the president.

In preparation, information from the official website of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the press service of the Office of the President of Ukraine, and Bloomberg was used.

About Putin

The President of Ukraine, at the beginning of his speech, addressed the participants and noted that he appreciates their readiness to hear answers to truly important questions: "When will the war end? Is the Third World War possible? Is it time to negotiate with Putin?"

"The full-scale war in Europe has been ongoing for nearly two years. Counting the time since Russia's illegal annexation favor, Crimea has been almost 10 years. And for almost ten years, Russia has been interfering in African countries from Sudan to Male.

The Syrian war is still bleeding because of Putin's decision to prove something to the world that has been ongoing for almost 13 years.

In fact, one man has stolen at least 13 years of peace, replacing them with pain, pain, pain, and crisis that impacts the entire world," said Zelenskyy.

According to the president, Putin is trying to normalize what was supposed to end in the 20th century - mass deportations, leveling cities and villages to the ground, and the terrible sense that the war may never end.

"In fact, Putin embodies war. We all know that he is the sole reason why wars and conflicts persist and why all attempts to restore peace have filled. And he will not change," the Ukrainian president stated.

On Russia's Cooperation with Iran and the DPRK and the Threat to Other Countries

The head of state emphasized that the possible directions of Russian aggression beyond Ukraine are becoming more evident. According to him, Putin's response to calls for peace is the supply of more and more weapons from North Korea and Iran.

"Regimes like his exist as long as they wage wars.

And we – we all in the free world – exist as long as we can defend ourselves. If anyone thinks this is only about Ukraine, they're fundamentally mistaken. Possible directions and even timeline of new Russian aggression beyond Ukraine become more and more obvious," the president said.

Zelenskyy believes that if there is a need to fight Putin together in the coming years, it is better to end it with the dictator and his military strategy now. And Ukraine is such an opportunity.

"Even Putin's current buddies in Pyongyang and Tehran are simply using his madness while he still has technologies and resources to pay them. No one believes in his future or invests in it. And we, all of us, today, even more than yesterday, must invest in bringing peace closer – a peace that is both just and stable," Zelenskyy said.

About calls from allies "not to escalate"

The head of state reminded that the world constantly called for "not to escalate" and emphasized that only the full force of sanctions will force Putin to take action.

"Before the full-scale invasion, we constantly heard – don't escalate! We called for proactive action, sanctions to prevent war expansion. We were told: don't escalate. And after February 24th, nothing harmed our coalitions more than this concept. The lives of many of our most experienced warriors, who fought since 2014, were lost. Some opportunities were lost. The lesson is clear," Zelenskyy emphasized.

About Patriot, the Black Sea Fleet, and Russian planes

The president noted that Ukraine was able to debunk the Russian narrative about "missiles that cannot be shot down." And as an example, he mentioned Patriot.

"Many feared the consequences if Ukraine gets long-range weapons. As a result – Russia just loses more. We heard Russia would never allow a grain corridor without its involvement. Nearly 16 million tons of cargo have been transported from our ports. And we can prove that Russia will reconcile with the complete loss of its Black Sea Fleet, which terrorized commercial ships," Zelenskyy said.

The head of state emphasized that Ukraine must gain an advantage in the air, as it did in the Black Sea.

"We can do it. Partners know what’s needed and in what quantities. This will allow progress on the ground. Just two days ago, we proved Ukraine can even hit very valuable Russian military aircraft which no one had shot down before," Zelenskyy noted.

About sanctions against Russia and freezing its assets

He reminded that many sanction steps were postponed for months, even years, because they faced a flurry of threats from Moscow. But none of these threats materialized, as it turned out to be a bluff.

"And how can one be satisfied with the sanctions against Russia or export controls if they don't even block its missile production? In every Russian missile, there are critical components from Western countries. Dozens of components in every missile. And it's true. It's a fact.

Of course, I am grateful for each package of sanctions. Thanks, partners. Thank you. But bringing peace closer will be a reward for all those who care to ensure that sanctions work one hundred percent," Zelenskyy said.

According to the head of state, approaching peace will be a reward for everyone who cares about adhering to sanctions 100%.

About calls for a freeze on the war

The head of state emphasized that any frozen conflict will eventually flare up again.

"Putin is the only terrorist in the world who took a nuclear power plant hostage. It must be a strong decision this year, when frozen Russian assets, sovereign and oligarchic, will be directed towards defense against the Russian war and for reconstruction of Ukraine.

Putin loves money above all. The more billions he and his oligarchs, friends, and accomplices lose, the more likely he will regret starting this war. Putin must regret. We need him to lose. We need to finally dispel the notion that global unity is weaker than one man's hatred.

And we can do it," Zelenskyy said.

He added that any reduction in pressure on the aggressor only adds years to the war.

About the Peace formula and the global summit

At the same time, Zelenskyy emphasized that every investment in the trust of a defender shortens the war.

"We must make it possible to answer the most important question: the war will end – with a just and stable peace.

And I want you to be a part of this peace – starting from right now – to bring the peace closer. And we need you in Ukraine – to build, to reconstruct, to restore our lives. Each of you can be even more successful with Ukraine. And these days, right here in such a beautiful country, in Switzerland, we have made a key political contribution to the possibility of ending the war," the president said.

He reminded that in Davos, the most representative meeting of advisers on national security issues on the implementation of the "formula of peace" took place, with the participation of over 80 countries and international organizations.

"Yesterday, I had very productive negotiations with the President of Switzerland, discussing the possibility of holding a summit at the leaders' level in Switzerland – the first summit, the Global Peace Summit. Today, our teams have already begun work on organizing such a summit. Not the World War Three, but the Global Peace Summit," Zelenskyy emphasized.

In conclusion, he invited all leaders and countries that respect peace and international law to join the initiative.

"Together, we can answer any crucial questions. And it will be the best answers. Peace must be the answer," the president summed up.

Zelenskyy in Switzerland

Recall that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has been on a working visit to Switzerland since yesterday. On January 15, he met in Bern with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd, as well as with members of the Swiss parliament.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian peace formula, the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine, and the importance of partner support were discussed. The question of the need for an international tribunal on the crime of Russian aggression was also raised. In addition, Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of Switzerland recognizing the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide against Ukrainians.

Today, the president began work in Davos. He met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and one of the main topics of the negotiations was the situation on the front and Ukraine's needs, particularly in terms of air defense. The preparation for the next NATO summit in Washington and security guarantees were also discussed.

The Ukrainian leader also participated in a meeting called "Leaders of Big Business - to Ukraine" and met with the leadership of JP Morgan and the most significant international investors to attract private capital to reconstruct Ukraine.

After that, Zelenskyy met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They discussed further defense cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, at the Davos forum, Zelenskyy will allegedly receive a message from US President Joe Biden calling on Ukraine to switch to the defensive in the war against Russia.

World Economic Forum in Davos

Recall that on January 15, the World Economic Forum (WEF) started in Davos, lasting until Friday, January 19. Over 100 heads of state and government gathered at the event. During the WEF, participants will discuss global threats and challenges. Among the key topics are the conflict in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and the technological breakthrough of artificial intelligence.

It is worth noting that on the eve of the official opening in Davos, a meeting on the Ukrainian "formula for peace" took place at the level of national security advisers. 81 countries and international organizations participated in the conference.

For more information about the Davos 2024 program, its participants, and topics, read the material by RBC-Ukraine.