At this difficult time, Ukraine needs the personal presence of allies, security assistance, strengthening economic stability and world confidence in our country. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions of foreign states and international organizations accredited in Ukraine.
He noted that the meeting is taking place at a difficult, tense time, when the world is paying special attention to the situation in our country.
"In recent weeks, the world has felt a threat of the beginning of a large-scale escalation. What can Ukraine say to the world about this? We have been living like this for the last eight years. This is a statement of facts that we have been talking about for the last eight years," the President stressed.
The Head of State stressed that the Ukrainian leadership is aware of all possible risks and threats and understands what should be done and how to overcome them. "We are always ready for any scenario. But we, Ukraine, always strive for one thing - a peaceful settlement through diplomacy," he said.
At the same time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that fueling alarm causes no less economic losses to Ukraine than direct military action.
Therefore, according to the President, today Ukraine first of all needs the personal presence of allies and partners in our country.
"We do not need to be warned - we need help. What kind of help exactly? The easiest way is to be with us, to be in Ukraine. I thank all of you, our friends and partners who stand by our side today. Whose diplomatic missions in Ukraine continue to operate as usual. This presence is more meaningful and eloquent than a thousand words," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President stressed that 80 representatives of foreign states and international organizations are present at today's event, and such support gives strong hope for future de-escalation and peaceful settlement.
"Ukraine has done, is doing and will do everything possible for this. We have put forward a number of initiatives to revitalize the Normandy format. I am very glad that the day before yesterday it was unblocked and for the first time since 2019 a joint statement was agreed by all four parties. It was a complicated meeting, but it is a demonstration of the fact that dialogue is possible," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also thanked Ukraine's partners for security, military assistance and support in strengthening economic and financial stability.
"I am grateful to those states that have already declared their readiness to provide such support to Ukraine. But another form of aid that is as important as armaments and finances is global confidence in Ukraine. Signals about stability, about the reliability of Ukraine as a partner. Especially when there are all grounds for it," he said.
The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine continues to carry out reforms despite the eight-year external military aggression in the east, the occupation of some territories, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, the global financial and energy crisis.
"Despite all this, Ukraine is achieving results and implementing systemic changes and transformations that are still impossible in many post-Soviet states," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the partners for participating in the first Crimea Platform Summit and the conclusions of the last NATO Summit in Brussels, which confirmed Ukraine's membership prospects. He expressed hope that our country would receive clear answers to specific questions at the next NATO Summit in Madrid.
The President also thanked the member states of the European Union, which officially supported Ukraine's European perspective and signed the relevant declarations. The President called on the remaining 20 EU countries to support the relevant declarations as well.
"Do they want to see us in the EU or NATO or do they want to avoid conflict with Russia? Are we equal or different? I am confident that together we will achieve our common goal - to preserve peace and, by raising the voice of diplomacy, to silence the guns. I am sure we can do it together," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
For his part, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a speech that due to the threat of escalation from Russia, there are some fears of investors, which leads to the withdrawal of part of the capital from Ukraine.
"Therefore, I appeal to you and the leaders of your states to give a balanced assessment of the situation - one that will not be used by the enemy to instigate the panic situation in our country," he said.
The Prime Minister stressed that Ukraine will never give up its sovereignty, territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic future, which is the civilizational choice of Ukrainian society.
"We remain calm and confident and look forward to passing on this mood to your governments, to your business community, with your help. You can and should work with Ukraine - it is an investment in European security, European prosperity," said Denys Shmyhal.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba stressed the importance of pressure on Russia from the world community to demand a diplomatic settlement: “Send clear signals to Russia that it is in its interests to resolve all disputes through diplomacy. If each of your governments says this to the Russian Federation, it will be a significant deterrent."
Dmytro Kuleba also noted that Ukraine, together with its partners, continues to work on preparing tough sanctions in the event of continued escalation by Russia. He thanked everyone who made the effort for this.
"It is very important to ensure that Russia does not doubt for a second that there will be tough political and economic penalties in the event of a new wave of armed aggression against Ukraine. It will be the best safeguard and deterrence. Russia must not split us," the Foreign Minister said.