President of Ukraine

The Black Sea does not belong to Russia, so Ukraine, together with Türkiye and the UN, is working to unblock shipping lanes – President

22 July 2023 - 10:28

The Black Sea does not belong to Russia, so Ukraine, together with Türkiye and the UN, is working to unblock shipping lanes – President

The states of the Black Sea region, in particular, Ukraine and Türkiye, maintain constructive and substantive relations with each other, and only Russia baselessly seeks to dominate the Black Sea waters. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who took part in the 14th annual Aspen Security Forum via a video link.

During the event, the Head of State answered the questions of CNN journalist, influential political analyst and international relations expert Fareed Zakaria, and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland.

"All of us must not forget: the Black Sea is the sea of all our states and people. It does not belong to the Russian Federation. There is Ukraine, there is Türkiye, Romania, Bulgaria. We talk with all the countries of the Black Sea coast – substantive pragmatic human relations and, what is very important, legal relations. And Russia believes that the Black Sea is purely Russian," the Head of State said.

Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is making efforts to unblock the operation of the grain corridor and hopes to achieve a result in this matter.

"We are looking for a way out. We appealed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, I spoke with him personally. I spoke with President Erdoğan. Talking about this crisis, we see certain ways out. If we succeed, if Erdoğan succeeds, if the UN is even stronger – I think we will do that," Zelenskyy said.

The President also said that Russian society does not see any victories for Russia either on the battlefield or in the economy.

"I think they are as demotivated as possible. They do not see any victories anywhere: in civilian life, militarily. Even those who support President Putin's policy of war and aggression... I think that this percentage (of support) is decreasing," the Head of State said.

Zelenskyy said that today, when Russia has lost its internal unity, partner countries should demonstrate comprehensive support for Ukraine.

"The world cannot lose its unity. Unity today is the criterion of winners. And I think that thanks to this strength, we will manage not to lose the world's attention to Ukrainian challenges, needs, and shortages. And we will for sure achieve our goal – our land, our people, peace, and respect for Ukraine's sovereignty," the President said.

He said that Ukraine needs a large number of long-range weapons and artillery to reach parity with the Russian side.

"I would like us to be at least the same in the artillery, and preferably better. Samples of Western weapons, NATO weapons are better, but we have less of them. And if it is less, then there should be at least a long-range balance. We lack this," Zelenskyy said.

According to the Head of State, the partner countries should also resolve the issue of supplying Ukraine with modern military aircraft.

"We lack modern aircraft. I'm not just talking about quality, I'm talking about quantity. We are very grateful that the world has unlocked the issue of training missions. We will start in August. But it is very important that, in addition to training, there is confidence today that we will receive enough of these aircraft," the President said.

Answering a question from Freeland, Zelenskyy recalled that he communicated with her in the days when Russian troops tried to occupy Kyiv, and even at that difficult moment, he was sure that Ukraine would win over the enemy.

"Because the truth is on our side. Our families are on our side, our children whom we love. It's life. Therefore, life is on our side. And I am sure that the world, its unity, is also on our side. And that is why I am sure we will win," the Head of State said.