"Today, all of us must invest in bringing peace closer – a peace that is both just and stable," Zelenskyy said at the World Economic Forum in Davos

"Today, all of us must invest in bringing peace closer – a peace that is both just and stable," Zelenskyy said at the World Economic Forum in Davos

In a speech to the participants of a special forum meeting in Davos, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that before a full-scale invasion, international partners would constantly urge Ukraine "not to escalate the situation". 

"Every “don’t escalate” to us sounded like “you will prevail” to Putin. We asked for new types of weapons, and the response was “don’t escalate”. But then weapons arrived, and there was no escalation. A Russian missile fell on NATO territory – the response again was “don’t escalate.” But retaliation at that moment could have taught Russia a lot and would have added necessary confidence to the West. We talked about blocking the transit of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad, but the response was, “Don’t escalate”. The full force of the sanctions could have forced Putin to concessions," he said. 

The President of Ukraine emphasised that time was lost, as well as the lives of many of Ukraine's most experienced soldiers who have been fighting since 2014, and some opportunities due to the call not to provoke escalation.

He stressed that Russian aggression is not only directed at Ukraine but that Russia is interfering in the lives of African countries from Sudan to Mali, participating in the war in Syria, and cooperating with Iran and North Korea. 

"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," he added. 

The President of Ukraine stressed that he was grateful for the sanctions that the West has already imposed on Russia, but "a clear weakness of the West that Russia’s nuclear industry is still not under global sanctions". 

In Davos, the Ukrainian delegation held a meeting of national security advisers on implementing the so-called "peace formula". Representatives of more than 80 countries and international institutions attended the meeting. This is the fourth such meeting. 

In addition, the Ukrainian delegation met with the President of Switzerland, representatives of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania, the NATO Secretary General, representatives of large global businesses and major financial institutions. They also met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the King and Prime Minister of Belgium, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the President of Ghana, and the President of Poland Duda. 

The Ukrainian delegation discussed defence cooperation and strengthening of Ukraine's air defence and long-range capabilities with Blinken. They also agreed with Ursula von der Leyen to start screening Ukrainian legislation, which is one of the steps towards opening negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union.