Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used the Davos summit Monday to appeal for more weapons and “maximum” sanctions against Russia, lamenting that tens of thousands of lives would have been saved had countries acted faster.
Appearing by video-link, Zelensky delivered the headline speech to the first World Economic Forum to be held in the Swiss Alps in more than two years after the Covid pandemic derailed the event.
The conflict shows “that support to the country under attack is more valuable the sooner it is provided: weapons, funding, political support and sanctions against Russia,” said Zelensky, who received a standing ovation.
Flanked by Ukrainian flags and wearing an olive-green T-shirt, he said through an interpreter that if Kyiv had received “100 percent of our needs at once back in February, the result would have been tens of thousands of lives saved”.
“This is why Ukraine needs all the weapons that we ask for, not just the ones that have been provided,” he said, adding that 87 people were killed in a May 17 strike by Russia on a military base in northern Ukraine.
Anastasia Radina, a Ukrainian lawmaker, told AFP that her country needs “NATO-style” weapons, including tanks and ground-based air defence systems.
“What we are looking for most importantly are fighter jets and this has been the most difficult discussion,” she said.
“Three months into the war, and tens of thousands lives lost, we are still at the point of discussing if we need fighter jets. Frankly speaking this is outrageous.”
Ukraine is receiving howitzers “but that is not yet enough”, she said.