Ukraine conflict: Volodymyr Zelensky addresses World Economic Forum as he calls for ‘maximum’ sanctions against Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the World Economic Forum as it opened in Davos, Switzerland, calling for “maximum” sanctions against Russia.

He said by video that sanctions needed to go further to stop Russia’s aggression, including an oil embargo, all of its banks blocked and cutting off trade with Russia completely.

Mr Zelensky said his country has slowed Russian advances and his people’s courage has stirred unseen unity of the democratic world adding that Ukraine has set a precedent in the last few months, showing the lengths a country will go to fight for its freedom.

He called for "maximum sanctions" to be imposed on Russia in a bid to will prevent Russia, and any other country, from launching an unprovoked war adding that the world couldn’t be ruled by “brute force”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seen on a giant screen during his address by video conference as part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos on May 23, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI via Getty Images)

He said: "This is what sanctions should be: they should be maximum, so that Russia and every other potential aggressor that wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbour would clearly know the immediate consequences of their actions.

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“If we would have received 100% of our needs at once, back in February, the result would be tens of thousands of lives saved - this is why Ukraine needs all the weapons, that we ask, not just the ones that we've been provided."

The Ukrainian leader rounded off his address by quoting former US secretary of state George Marshall, whose European Recovery Programme helped rebuild Western Europe following the devastation of WW2 adding that his recovery plan did not oppose any country or ideology but did oppose "hunger, poverty, despair and chaos" - are still "relevant today".

He said: "My proposals are all the same” adding that he would rid not just Ukraine but any country that comes under attack of those four issues: hunger, poverty, despair and chaos.

Zelensky recieved a standing ovation following his address which he finished by wishing "glory to Ukraine”.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko also called on countries to continue imposing sanctions against Russia saying: “Armies win battles but the economy wins wars. We have to cut Russia off from the global economy completely.”