Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for ‘maximum’ sanctions against Russia during virtual speech at World Economic Forum rally
DAVOS, Switzerland — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for “maximum” sanctions against Russia during a virtual speech at the World Economic Forum rally.
He said in a virtual speech Monday that sanctions must go further to stop Russia’s aggression, including an oil embargo, blocking all its banks and completely cutting off trade with Russia.
Zelenskyy says his country has slowed down Russian advances and the courage of its people has sparked a unity invisible to the democratic world.
He pushed for the complete withdrawal of foreign companies to prevent support for his war.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — A virtual keynote address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be the focus of the first day of the World Economic Forum’s gathering of business leaders, government officials and other personalities that kicked off Monday in Davos, Switzerland.
The village in the Swiss Alps has been transformed into a glitzy venue for the four-day confab ostensibly dedicated to making the world a better place. The in-person event resumes after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also delayed this year’s meeting from its usual winter slot due to uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant.
For participants, there is a lot to face in the face of soaring food and fuel prices, Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, inequality and ongoing health crises. But it’s hard to predict whether the ambitious talks will result in substantive announcements that will advance the world’s most pressing challenges.
Elite attendees filled the conference venue, both chatting and listening to panel discussions on topics including the Russian-Ukrainian war, climate change and global economic prospects. Attendees also visit nearby pavilions on Davos’ main street set up by companies like Intel, Accenture and Facebook owner Meta.
Besides Zelenskyy’s speech, a large Ukrainian government delegation is also present in person, pleading for more Western support in the country’s fight against Russia.
Russian officials have not been invited to Davos this year, which has been dubbed the ‘House of Russia’ having been turned by critics – including Ukrainian tycoon Victor Pinchuk and the country’s foreign ministry – into this which they call the “War Crimes House in Russia”.
The place features photos of crimes and cruelties that Russian forces are accused of perpetuating. Some victims will speak out, including Anatoliy Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, a town near kyiv where the killings of civilians have sparked outrage.
While Ukraine will capture the spotlight on the first day of the meeting, climate and environmental issues will be a constant theme as the forum looks to future challenges as much as current ones.
A third of the roughly 270 roundtables until Thursday’s final will focus on climate change or its effects, with extreme weather, efforts to achieve “net zero” emissions and the search for new sources of energy more specific to the agenda.
AP reporters Kelvin Chan and Peter Prengaman contributed from Davos.