President of Ukraine

Now there is an opportunity to give new impetus to relations between Ukraine and China - address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

26 April 2023 - 22:25

Now there is an opportunity to give new impetus to relations between Ukraine and China - address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Good health to you, fellow Ukrainians!

First of all, I would like to thank our entire team involved in the exchanges.

We managed to return 44 more people from Russian captivity to Ukraine. Most of them are servicemen. From various directions. Among them are defenders of Azovstal and Mariupol, other cities in Donetsk, Kherson, Kharkiv regions... Most of them are privates and sergeants. Some are officers. Two of them are civilians.

And it's important that the team works on all those who are in captivity... Even if it is particularly difficult, as with some categories of captives. And these are not only prisoners of war who are difficult to return, but also, for example, civilian captives – one of those difficult categories.

We remember everyone. And even if there is no exact information about a particular person, about what happened to them or where they might be, they are still being searched for and everything is being checked as much as possible. Ukraine must return all its people.

I am thankful to all of you guys who coordinate this work: Budanov, Yermak, Lubinets, Usov, Malyuk, Klymenko... I thank each and every one who helps in the Main Intelligence Directorate, the Office, the Security Service of Ukraine and our other structures.

Of course, I am grateful to all our warriors on the frontline who are replenishing the exchange fund. Every Russian prisoner of war is an opportunity to exchange our people.

In total, 2279 Ukrainians have already been returned from Russian captivity during the full-scale war.

I spoke with the leader of China today. It was a long and quite rational conversation. It is usually said that such conversations open up opportunities. Now there is an opportunity to give new impetus to our relations – Ukraine and China.

There is an opportunity to use China's political influence to restore the strength of the principles and rules on which peace should be based. Ukraine and China, as well as the vast majority of the world, are equally interested in the strength of the sovereignty of nations and territorial integrity... In compliance with the main security rules, in particular, the inadmissibility of threats with nuclear weapons and the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world. We are equally interested in ensuring that the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is finally fully secured and that nuclear power plants are never used for military purposes again, which is exactly the kind of cynical use Russia is trying to make the norm.

It is very important that China shares our view of freedom of navigation and trade. I briefed Mr. Xi Jinping on our efforts to restore seaborne food exports. And I heard words of support for our Black Sea Grain Initiative and its extension, as well as support for our humanitarian efforts, in particular the Grain from Ukraine program.

Of course, an essential part of the conversation is our views on ways to restore a just peace. I presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula, its specific points. We agreed to continue our communications.

Today, I took part in a conference in Rome dedicated to the reconstruction of our country. This is a special format of communication between government officials and representatives of industry and business from our countries, Ukraine and Italy. This is a special format of communication between the governments and representatives of industry and business of our countries, Ukraine and Italy, for us to be able to directly attract to Ukraine those who personify the economic power of Italy.

I thank Mrs. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for this conference and for her words of unflagging support for Ukraine. It is important that we are already planning our cooperation in 2024. In particular, this concerns the upcoming Italian presidency of the G7, as well as the preparation of a major donor conference on recovery.

I had a separate phone call with Giorgia. The key topic was defense cooperation and support for our warriors. Thank you, Italy!

These days, we are also working with our partners to coordinate defense and supply activities. It is very important for Ukraine that everyone who works with us to defend freedom clearly understands what prospects our strength has and what we can do. The better we understand each other, the easier it is to work for a common victory. For obvious reasons, we are not disclosing the details of such communication in public yet.

One more thing.

Today I spoke with IAEA Director Grossi. The anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster is the right day to remind everyone in the world how fragile our security is. And even more so when the threat of a radiation catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, artificially created by Russia, has been looming every day and every minute for more than a year already.

Only Ukraine's full control over the ZNPP can restore full security not only for our country, but also for the entire Europe and the whole world.

Radiation does not recognize state borders, just like the Russian Federation. And only full compliance with the rules can guarantee safety.

I would also like to thank Mr. Grossi for his initiative - a very important social initiative - of such a special medical support program for the personnel of all our nuclear power plants. Thank you for supporting our people!

Thank you to everyone who helps us fight against aggression!

Glory to all Ukrainian warriors who are now in combat, at combat posts and on combat missions!

Glory to Ukraine!