More weapons and “maximum” sanctions: three months after Russia’s invasion of its country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for faster international assistance in Davos on Monday, according to AFP.

Volodymyr ZelenskyPhoto: Ukraine Presidency / Zuma Press / Profimedia

“Sanctions (…) should be maximized so that Russia and any other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbor know clearly what the immediate consequences of its actions are,” he said at the opening day of the meeting. annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland.

At a time when Kiev says it is facing an “increasingly difficult” situation in the heavily bombed region of Donbass (east), Zelenski has also demanded more weapons for his country. , regretting that the support of the international community was not fast enough.

“If we had received 100% of our needs in February, the result would have been tens of thousands of lives saved. Therefore, Ukraine needs all the weapons we demand, not just those that have been provided,” he said. the Ukrainian president, who spoke via video conference through an interpreter and was applauded at length.

“We need weapons more than anything else,” Anastasia Radina, a Ukrainian parliamentarian who came to Davos, told reporters on Sunday night.

She told AFP that Ukraine needs “NATO-like” weapons, including tanks, air defense systems and fighter jets, and said that the military aid received so far “is not enough”.

“After three months of war and tens of thousands of lives lost, we are still discussing whether we need fighter jets. Honestly, it is outrageous,” she said.

No trade with Russia

The Ukrainian government is also calling for tougher sanctions against Russia, which it would like to completely isolate from international trade.

“There should be no trade with Russia,” Zelenski said, calling for an “embargo on Russian oil” and measures against “all Russian banks, without exception.”

Western countries have imposed a series of economic sanctions on Russia. But while the United States and Britain have given up on Russian oil imports, the European Union is struggling to reach an agreement, as some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas.

“We understand that Europe is trying to estimate the cost to its economy. But on the other hand, there is Ukraine, there is a real war,” insisted Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Sviridenko, who came to Davos in person. “Russia wants to destroy Ukraine (…) and threatens the world with hunger. There is certainly no time for analysis. We must completely isolate Russia from the civilized world,” she said.

Ukraine is in the spotlight this week in Davos, where the WEF meeting of the world’s political and economic elites returns after a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab praised the Ukrainian president’s “courageous leadership” on Monday and welcomed a “particularly strong delegation of Ukrainians”, but this year banned the Russians, who are usually a large contingent of participants.

Where there has been a “Russian house” in other years, Ukrainians have been exposing their “war crimes” since Monday. They hope to better persuade the international community to step up their support.

“Everyone is affected by what is happening in your country,” Klaus Schwab told the Ukrainian president.

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