Addressing G7 countries via videoconference Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told them that they could be a “great group of peacekeepers” by stepping up sanctions and creating a new association called U-24.
Earlier on Thursday, Zelensky also addressed NATO leaders virtually.
“We can make your G7 group not just a great seven, but a great group of peacekeepers, a great seven peacekeepers. What do we need? Ukraine is very specific in answering this question. Every week we must step up sanctions against Russian aggression until it ends and peace is restored,” Zelensky told the G7 countries.
He added, “Next, we need to create a new system of security guarantees for Ukraine and our region. Real guarantees effective guarantees that can stop any aggression within 24 hours. Within 24 hours, we have proposed an association, at U-24. Something that the world needs not just to prevent wars, but also to stop active hostilities that have already begun and also to provide support to those countries that suffer from natural disasters or need support during pandemics or which face migration or food crises.”
Zelensky asked the leaders how many urgent summits would need to be held until the problems created by Russia can be solved.
“In the recent years, Russia has managed to create so many crises and so much instability that it has become the main problem for the world. A problem that is only increasing and we can’t even guess how many such urgent summits would have to be held before the problems created by Russia can be solved,” Zelensky told the G7 meeting.
Ukraine’s president warned G7 countries that Russia’s actions in Ukraine were leading to a global food crisis.
“Russia has destroyed global security architecture and dealt a powerful blow to international relations. But this is only the beginning. This war can be followed by a global food crisis. The longer there is no peace on Ukrainian land, the less food the world market will receive from Ukraine and many countries in Asia, Africa and even Europe may suffer extreme problems with access to basic foods and prices for food. This will definitely result in political destabilization and maybe that was the purpose of the Russian leadership. I don’t know,” Zelensky said.
“But we must act immediately. We must immediately stop Russian troops and get them out of Ukraine. We need immediate peace before the world faces another level of problems. It is better to use sanctions against Russia now as much as possible to stop its military machine than later to deal with the consequences of a global food crisis,” the Ukrainian president added.
Zelensky called for a “full embargo to trade” with Russia, and to prevent Russia from using the GPS system.
“Unprecedented challenges require a full embargo to trade with Russia. Russia must be deprived of the opportunity to even use GPS in the war. It is important for this system not to help Russian missiles and bombs destroy peaceful cities,” Zelensky said.
“Russian banks and mainly the Central Bank of Russia must be completely blocked from the global financial system. War criminals must be left without any money and their frozen assets must be turned also into reparations,” he told G7 countries.
“This is in our interest, it is in your interests. It is in the interests of all democracies, because democracies must be able to defend themselves. Freedom must be armed. Life must triumph over death,” Zelensky said.
Ukraine’s president again accused Russia of deploying phosphorous munitions, certain usages of which are either banned or circumscribed under international law. CNN is not able to verify these claims. The US State Department also told CNN it was aware of the reports but said it was not in a position to confirm.