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Zelenskyy highlights Western weakness in addressing sanctions against Russia

Zelenskyy highlights Western weakness in addressing sanctions against Russia President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed the possibility of Russia continuing missile production in the circumvention of international sanctions. He calls for the strengthening of restrictive measures, particularly in the nuclear sector of the aggressor country, according to the President's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

According to the president, many sanction measures by Western countries have been delayed for months and even years due to the "storms of threats from Moscow."

"But none of these threats came true. Each storm turned out to be their bluff," Zelenskyy notes.

In this context, the head of state has commented on Russia's ability to circumvent certain imposed restrictions, especially regarding the production of missile weaponry.

"And how can one be satisfied with sanctions against Russia or export control 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," he emphasizes.

Zelenskyy expresses gratitude to partner countries for every adopted and implemented sanctions package. However, he has pointed out that "bringing peace closer will be a reward for all those who cared to ensure that sanctions work one hundred percent."

"And, by the way, it's a clear weakness of the West is that Russia's nuclear industry is still not under global sanctions, even though Putin is the only, only terrorist in the world who took a nuclear power plant hostage (Zaporizhzhia NPP)," the president states.

According to Zelenskyy, a "strong decision" needs to be made this year when frozen Russian assets, sovereign and oligarchic, will be directed towards protecting against the Russian war and restoring 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," he says.

Situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP

Russian military forces occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant at the beginning of the full-scale war against Ukraine. Invaders not only violate the station's operation regime but also use its facilities to store equipment and deploy military personnel. Throughout the occupation, the station has been disconnected from Ukraine's power grid several times.

Recently, another accident occurred at Zaporizhzhia NPP, with the risk of shutting down one of the power units.

Moreover, Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned about the risks of a terrorist act at the station.

Sanctions against Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the European Union last summer to start working on the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. This included sanctions against Rosatom.

"World attention, every country, every leader, and specific, tangible pressure on Russia - all of this is a much-needed set of measures to prevent radiation incidents at Zaporizhzhia NPP. In particular, work on the 12th package of EU sanctions should begin now," he stated.

It's worth noting that in the summer of 2023, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, at the Ambassadors' Conference, proposed introducing sanctions against Rosatom in several stages.