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Zelenskyy meets with global leaders and investors at Davos, calls for confiscation of Russian assets

In a busy day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for increased pressure on Russia, discussed Ukraine’s security and economic prospects, and said that reducing support for Ukraine would only prolong the war.
Stoltenberg and Zelenskyy
Jens Stoltenberg and Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 16 January 2024. Credit: Jens Stoltenberg via Twitter (X).
Zelenskyy meets with global leaders and investors at Davos, calls for confiscation of Russian assets

On 16 January 2024, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy took part in the “Big Business Leaders to Ukraine” meeting, met with the NATO Secretary General, President of the European Commission, US Secretary of State and leaders of other countries on day one of the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland). President Zelenskyy also addressed the participants of the Davos forum.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukraine’s President said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not stop if Ukraine’s allies withdraw their support. President Zelenskyy called Vladimir Putin “a predator who is not satisfied with frozen food” and said that Ukraine would never accept a frozen conflict. Zelenskyy reiterated that Russia must pay for its invasion and called for the confiscation of Russian frozen assets.

During the meeting of the “Big Business Leaders to Ukraine,” President Zelenskyy said that Ukraine has managed to push the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea and secured a safe Black Sea corridor to export goods from Ukrainian ports.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about Ukraine’s economic growth, which exceeded 5% in 2023, and shared optimistic forecasts for Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2024. He invited to invest in Ukraine and participate in its recovery.

The President of Ukraine also met with the management of JP Morgan, an American multinational financial services firm, and international investors.

“It is important for us to attract private capital to rebuild Ukraine. We hope that JP Morgan will help attract a large number of global investors and corporations to the Ukrainian economy,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President had also met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Davos.

“We discussed many important issues. The situation on the battlefield, defense needs of Ukraine, further strengthening of the Ukrainian air defense, preparations for the next NATO summit in Washington, work with partners on bilateral security agreements within the framework of the G7 declaration, which will be in force until Ukraine joins NATO,” Zelenskyy said following the meeting with Stoltenberg.

Supporting Ukraine is an investment in the security of NATO countries, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“We have to support them [Ukrainians – ed.], and I am also quite sure that NATO allies will continue their support, because support for Ukraine is not charity. Supporting Ukraine is an investment in our own security,” Jens Stoltenberg said.

President Zelenskyy also met with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“A meaningful meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. We discussed further defense cooperation between Ukraine and the United States. Air defense and long-range capabilities are particularly important for our country. I am grateful to the President of the United States, the Congress and the entire American people for their continued and powerful assistance to Ukraine,” President Zelenskyy said.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen also met with the President of Ukraine on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Von der Leyen and Zelenskyy
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their meeting in Davos on 16 January 2024.
Credit: Volodymyr Zelenskyy via Telegram.

“We discussed the key priorities of relations between Ukraine and the EU in the near future. We agreed to start screening Ukrainian legislation. This is another step towards opening negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the EU,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Speaking at the Davos Economic Forum, President Zelenskyy called on countries to join in supporting Ukraine and said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine can be ended only by putting pressure on Russia.

President Zelenskyy said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions are bound to fail. At the same time, Ukraine’s President expressed dissatisfaction with Western sanctions, and said these sanctions fail to block Russia’s missile production.

“Even Putin’s current buddies in Pyongyang and Tehran are simply taking advantage of his madness while he still has the technology and resources to pay them. No one believes in his future and is not investing in it,” Zelenskyy said. “Of course, I am grateful for every package of sanctions [against Russia – ed.], but it is an obvious weakness of the West that Russia’s nuclear industry is still not under global sanctions, even though Putin is the only terrorist in the world who has taken a nuclear power plant hostage,” Zelenskyy added.

Ukraine’s President said that confiscating frozen Russian assets would be a “strong decision.” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that these assets must be used to help Ukraine repel Russian invasion and rebuild the country when the war is over.

“Putin loves money above all else. The more billions he and his oligarchs, friends and accomplices lose, the more he will regret starting this war,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President said that Ukraine would never agree to freeze the war and give Russia a chance to replenish its losses and prepare another devastating invasion.

“This year should be decisive. Could the freezing of the war in Ukraine be its end? I don’t want to accept the truth that any frozen conflict will sooner or later flare up again. Let me remind you that after 2014 there were attempts to freeze the war in Donbas. There were very influential guarantors of this process – the then German Chancellor and the then French Presidents. But Putin is a predator who is not satisfied with frozen food,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelensky said that any reduction in support would only prolong the war and emphasized that the Russian war against Ukraine must end with a “just and stable peace.”

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukraine’s President also met with Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden, President of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.

“We continue important bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Among the main topics is the Peace Formula and its support,” Zelenskyy said.

During the first-ever meeting between the leaders of Ukraine and Singapore, President Zelenskyy invited Singapore to join Ukraine’s Peace Formula.

Ukraine’s formula for peace: Russia withdraws from Ukraine, returns POWs and deportees, pays reparations – Zelenskyy

At another first-ever meeting with the President of Rwanda, the President of Ukraine said that Ukraine is interested to supply agricultural products to Rwanda and other African countries.

“Ukraine has recently opened an embassy in Rwanda and is interested in developing bilateral relations. We are ready to become a supplier of agricultural products. The support of our country by African countries is important to us,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President met with King Philippe I of Belgium, Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Kroo, and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Dinh in Davos.

“Ukraine appreciates Belgium’s decision to provide F-16 fighter jets, the training of Ukrainian pilots by Belgian experts, the recent 15th defense assistance package, and Belgium’s leadership in establishing a €1.7 billion fund to support Ukraine, which will be filled by taxation of profits from frozen Russian assets. Thank you for your support,” Zelenskyy said.

The World Economic Forum in Davos continues. Our team will keep you updated on the new developments.


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