Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 18 January 2023 – The world must act with speed and resolve to fight back Russian aggression, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a livestreamed address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, urging world leaders to support his 10-point formula for an end to hostilities with Russia.
“History repeats itself. The world fails to notice or underestimates a threat. Then the world realizes and acts,” Zelenskyy said, nearly a year after his country was attacked by Russia. “The world overcame apartheid, the pandemic, the financial crisis… Now the world is fighting Putin. The world will overcome again.”
He called for a minute’s silence for all the lives lost in the conflict. His address took place hours after a helicopter crash near Kyiv killed Ukraine’s interior minister along with 14 others, including children
“Every death is a result of the war. There are no accidents at war time, these are all a result of the war,” he said.
“Three years ago, I spoke at Davos for the first time in person, Zelenskyy continued. “The topic was how to build a cohesive and sustainable world. Today, we’re discussing how to cooperate in a divided, fragmented world. To the call for efficient, urgent action, I add the call for speed… speed of decision-making and reaction of the civilized world.”
Russia needed just a second to start the war, and the world needed days to impose sanctions, he said, adding that Ukrainians’ spirit and resolve, as well as allies’ military and financial support have made it possible for the country to fight back.
“We are steadfast,” he said, “We are strong and motivated within the country. We didn’t start the war, but we have to end it. We need to have the whole world united around our joint values… Russia intends to get revenge because they’re fighting not just Ukraine but the entire civilized way of life.”
Asked about Russia’s place in the world, Zelenskyy said Russia has already “earned a place among terrorists”. “It no longer depends on the leadership now, the leaders are no longer affecting the development of the Russian Federation, everything now depends on Ukraine and the support of the world community.”
About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme Cooperation in a Fragmented World. For further information, click here.
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