Zelenskyy: 90 days of winter will be “more crucial” than 30 years of independence

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KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO – SATURDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2022, 22:51

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy believes that 90 days of the coming winter will be more decisive than the 30 years of Ukraine’s independence and all years of the European Union’s existence.

Source: President Zelenskyy at the annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES)

Quote: “This will be a very difficult winter for the whole world. […] Russia is doing everything it can to break Ukraine’s resistance, and the resistance put up by Europe and the rest of the world, in the 90 days of the coming winter. Because this is what Russia hopes for. This is its final argument.

The 90 days ahead of us will be more crucial than 30 years of Ukraine’s independence. 90 days that will be more crucial than all the years of the existence of the European Union. This winter will determine our future.”

Details: Zelenskyy said that he has no doubt that Ukraine – and other European states – can get through the winter without Russian energy resources.

He added that “the complete dismantling of Russian influence” is needed right now, in preparation for the “90 crucial days” of the coming winter.

He urged the rest of the world to strengthen sanctions against Russia this autumn; to reach an agreement on all mechanisms which will restrict Russia’s export revenues as much as possible; and to put in place an international mechanism to compensate for the damage and destruction Ukraine has suffered in the war.

Quote: “We need to impose stringent visa restrictions for the citizens of the Russian Federation, to encourage them to launch a visible anti-war movement [in Russia]. Not just populism, but a noticeable movement, a noticeable demonstration of courage.

We also need to block all Russian propaganda and to deport every [Russian] propagandist from every democratic country, so that Russia has not the slightest chance to sow discord in our politics and societies.”

More details: Zelenskyy called on the rest of the world to ensure that this winter hits Russia the hardest: “We can ensure our path to victory becomes clearer after these 90 days.”

The president believes that in winter, “Russian missiles can and will target businesses and infrastructure that provide people with heat and electricity.” Therefore, he argued that now is the time for Ukraine’s partners “to fulfil their promises” to supply air defence systems to Ukraine.

Finally, he argued that Ukraine can increase its energy exports to its neighbouring countries.

“We already export electricity to our neighbours, which helps replace dirty Russian energy resources, and we can easily increase exports to at least two and a half gigawatts, and eventually even more. […] But for this [to happen], it is necessary to ensure that Russian troops withdraw from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP [Nuclear Power Plant]. This is fundamentally in Europe’s interest now, in the months leading up to winter.”

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