Volodymyr Zelenskyy – Speech to G7 Leaders

The speech made by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, on 8 May 2022.

I would like to thank you for the invitation. Mr. Chancellor, thank you.

I am thankful to all the respected leaders for this opportunity and for the fact that it is happening today, on this day exactly. This is a powerful support for our state.

Dear friends!

We are meeting on this day in such a format to determine what needs to be done to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Today, May 8, is a key day of remembrance for all the victims of World War II, for the fragility of peace and the inadmissibility of any anti-humanist regimes. But what is remembrance for others today, for our people is, unfortunately, just news, every day.

Just yesterday in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk region, a Russian bomb killed 60 people. Civilians. They were hiding from shelling in the building of a regular school, which was attacked by a Russian air strike.

To do so is to imitate precisely the evil that the Nazis brought to Europe. The missile strikes at Odesa and our other cities are an imitation of how the Nazis tried to bomb and destroy European cities by bombardment.

The deportation of more than 500,000 Ukrainians to Russia and the so-called “filtration camps” set up by Russian troops in the occupied territories of Ukraine are imitations of the deportations and concentration camps that the Nazis organized in Europe.

Every day our people see and die from what must have been left in the distant past. What definitely shouldn’t have returned to Europe 77 years after.

But, unfortunately, I state: it’s back. That is why the solidarity of the whole free world has returned. That is why such historical concepts as “Lend-Lease” and “Marshall Plan” have returned. I am grateful to the United States and our European colleagues for these initiatives. That is why we are reunited in an anti-war coalition to save democracy and freedom in Europe, to guarantee peace and security. I am grateful to you for this solidarity and for this unification.

But what do we need now to gain victory in defending freedom? Freedom of Ukraine and the whole world?

First of all, weapons.

I am grateful to you for the defensive assistance we have already received. Because, as in World War II, the fate of freedom is decided on the battlefield. So Ukraine must get all the weapons and all the defense equipment that will help defeat tyranny. In particular, the M142 HIMARS, M270 MLRS and other weapons that Ukraine has requested from your powerful states.

If we had them, we would have been able to save many people. In all those cities, in all those communities that fell victim to the Russian occupiers, like Bilohorivka, which I mentioned at the beginning, or Mariupol.

The second is sanctions.

Ukraine will always be grateful to you for unprecedented sanctions in the interests of peace. But the war still continues. Hence, a special international group of experts chaired by Michael McFaul and Andriy Yermak has developed an Action Plan to strengthen sanctions on Russia for this war. It is necessary – I beg you – to implement these sanctions and at least give your feedback.

No export-import operations with Russia! As long as Russia is spending the money it has earned on destroying freedom in Ukraine and throughout Europe. The democratic world must be principled in defending itself.

We need to look for ways to influence those politicians and those companies that help Russia circumvent sanctions. For example, we transport oil to Hungary through our pipeline. And the politicians of this country not only block the supply of fuel to our territory, but also try to slow down every sanction step against Russia, including the oil embargo. The free world must not allow itself to be manipulated.

Also, all Russian officials, law enforcement officials and, importantly, judges who work for tyranny must be on the sanctions list. They are not there yet.

Every Russian war criminal must be brought to justice and convicted through international cooperation.

Visa restrictions are also needed for Russian citizens so that they do not use the free world for entertainment and shopping. Everyone must fight against tyranny, not adapt to it.

The third important point is financial support for Ukraine now and post-war reconstruction.

Just as the Marshall Plan played a historic role in rebuilding Europe and creating new conditions for development and growth after World War II, a similar Plan is needed and it is needed now. For the world to see that freedom wins not only on the battlefield, but also in life.

As long as the war continues, we need $ 5 billion to $ 7 billion a month in support. When the war is over, we will have to rebuild everything destroyed by Russia for a sum exceeding $ 600 billion.

This is a lot for our state. This is not possible for Ukraine. But this is possible for you. And it’s not just expenditures for you.

Financial assistance to Ukraine and assistance with post-war reconstruction is the prevention of much greater losses of the free world in the future.

Russia wants to move on to Europe, and all the potential aggressors in the world, who also want to ruin the lives of their neighbors, are looking to see if Russia succeeds now and if they are able to repeat it.

We must organize the work on the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war so that the best experience of democratic countries can be applied with maximum efficiency.

In particular, we invite the friends of Ukraine to join the reconstruction, taking patronage over the regions, cities or industries in our country that have suffered from the war, that are destroyed. For example, the United Kingdom has already been invited to take patronage over the restoration of the de-occupied Kyiv region.

And today, given Germany’s presidency in the G7, I propose to apply the format of cooperation that has shown its effectiveness in the unification of the German state.

When it is clearly set who is involved in the restoration and reintegration of the normal life of each region, each city, each community it guarantees efficiency.

Such cooperation will strengthen economic and technological ties in Europe and will benefit not only our country, but also your countries, your regions and your companies.

I am also grateful to the European Union and the United Kingdom for their decision to abolish tariffs and quotas on our trade. This is a powerful step in support of our state and freedom in general. And this is the decision that would be fair to expect from our other partners.

I appeal to all participants of the G7. It is time to remove bilateral barriers in trade.

Everything I have said now is, in fact, elements of one question.

The question is how long this war will last and how much destruction, how many victims Ukraine will suffer.

We must do everything we can to end the war as soon as possible with the victory of freedom. For the longer the war, the greater the benefits of tyranny and the greater the loss of freedom. And not only in Ukraine, but throughout Europe.

The lives of more than ten million people in Ukraine who have become IDPs have already been destroyed. But the world is also on the verge of a food crisis because of Russia’s actions. The Chancellor also spoke about this now. So how many more millions of lives will be lost in dozens of countries in Africa and Asia as a result of food shortages and political chaos that will follow rising food prices?

We need an effective tool for the world’s food security. And we propose to create it.

If we have an Organization of grain exporting countries that respect international law, value democracy and strive to protect human rights, including the right to life and guaranteed well-being, we will be able to provide food stability and a historic victory over famine.

Ukraine is ready to present all the details of this proposal at the appropriate working level.

Friends!

I commend the efforts of each of you. I am grateful to each of you for the weapons, sanctions and support. But I’m sure you realize that we need more weapons, more sanctions, more support to guarantee the protection of freedom. And to fix security for decades by concluding a relevant effective agreement with clear guarantees for Ukraine.

I offer your states – the world’s largest democracies – to become guarantors of security for Ukraine. Because this is what guarantees security for the whole center and east of Europe. Therefore, guarantees the confidence of your people that freedom always wins.

Thanks again to every country, to every leader present.

Thank you for your attention!

Glory to Ukraine!