Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the need to revive Ukraine’s economy following the Russian invasion, in his nightly address posted to social media on Wednesday night.
He said he had a meeting with the members of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, adding, “We must do everything possible to restore the work of domestic enterprises, trade activities, and revive small and medium-sized enterprises throughout our territory where it is safe and possible to work.”
Zelensky said the economy is also a “frontline” on which Ukrainians fight for their freedom.
“Now we need to be as creative and bold as possible in solving economic issues,” he said, “It depends not only on government officials and the central government in general. In general, it also depends on all leaders at the local level, on the political and business communities.”
He went on to say, “If we need to relocate businesses from certain areas, we have to do it. If we need to update legislation and give businesses more room for development, MPs must do so quickly. If we need to create special conditions for the return of people, and the security situation in a particular area allows, every leader at any level must make every effort and do everything possible to return people to such safe areas.”
The Ukrainian president called on community areas where there is no direct threat of confrontation with Russian forces to do everything possible for residents to return, for people to go back to work and to restore normal life as much as the security situation allows.
He renewed his call on western nations to ramp up sanctions, saying if there is no “really painful” package of sanctions, and if there are not much-needed weapons supplied to Ukraine, “it will be considered by Russia as a permission. A permission to go further. A permission to attack. A permission to start a new bloody wave in Donbas.”
“We are preparing for a further reduction of Russia’s military potential. Manpower and equipment. We will fight and we will not retreat. We will look for all possible options to defend ourselves until Russia begins to seriously seek peace,” he said.
Zelensky also said some politicians are still “unable to decide how to limit the flow of dollars and euros to Russia from the oil trade so as not to jeopardize their own economies.”
“The embargo on Russian oil supplies will be applied anyway,” Zelensky said, “The format will be found. The only question is how many more Ukrainian men and women the Russian military will have time to kill, so that you, some politicians – and we know you, can borrow a little determination somewhere.”