Speech by the President of Ukraine at the video conference of G7 leaders

On May 8, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech during the G7 leaders’ video conference.

I want to thank you for the invitation. Chancellor, thank you.

I am grateful to all respected leaders for this opportunity and for it to happen today, exactly on this day. It is a powerful support for our state.

Dear friends!

We meet today in such a format to determine what must be done to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Today, May 8, is a key day of remembrance for all the victims of the Second World War, for the fragility of peace and the inadmissibility of any anti-humanist regime. But what is a memory for others today, for our people, is unfortunately only daily news.

Just yesterday, in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk region, a Russian bomb killed 60 people. Civilians. They were hiding from the shelling in the building of an ordinary school, which was attacked by a Russian airstrike.

To do so is to precisely imitate the evil that the Nazis brought to Europe. The missile strikes in Odessa and our other cities are an imitation of how the Nazis tried to bombard and destroy European cities by bombardment.

The deportation of more than 500,000 Ukrainians to Russia and the so-called “filtration camps” set up by Russian troops in the occupied territories of Ukraine are imitations of the deportations and concentration camps that the Nazis set up organized in Europe.

Every day our people see and die because of what must have remained in the distant past. What certainly should not have returned to Europe 77 years later.

But, unfortunately, I specify: it is back. This is why the solidarity of everyone free has returned. This is why historical concepts such as “Lend-Lease” and “Marshall Plan” have returned. I am grateful to the United States and our European colleagues for these initiatives. This is why we have come together in an anti-war coalition to save democracy and freedom in Europe, to guarantee peace and security. I am grateful to you for this solidarity and for this unification.

But what do we need now to achieve victory in the defense of freedom? Freedom of Ukraine and the whole world?

First, the weapons.

I am grateful to you for the defensive assistance we have already received. Because, as in the Second World War, the fate of freedom is decided on the battlefield. Ukraine must therefore obtain all the weapons and defense equipment that will help defeat tyranny. In particular, the M142 HIMARS, M270 MLRS and other weapons that Ukraine has requested from your powerful states.

If we had them, we could have saved a lot of people. In all those cities, in all those communities that fell victim to the Russian occupiers, like Bilohorivka, which I mentioned at the beginning, or Mariupol.

The second concerns penalties.

Ukraine will always be grateful to you for the unprecedented sanctions in the interest of peace. But the war still continues. Therefore, a special international group of experts chaired by Michael McFaul and Andriy Yermak has drawn up an action plan to strengthen sanctions against Russia for this war. We must – I implore you – implement these sanctions and at least give your opinion.

No import-export operations with Russia! As long as Russia spends the money it has earned to destroy freedom in Ukraine and all of Europe. The democratic world must have principles to defend itself.

We need to look for ways to influence those politicians and companies that are helping Russia get around the sanctions. For example, we transport oil to Hungary through our pipeline. And the politicians of this country not only block the supply of fuel to our territory, but also try to slow down every sanction measure against Russia, including the oil embargo. The free world must not allow itself to be manipulated.

In addition, all Russian officials, law enforcement officials and, above all, judges who work for tyranny must be on the sanctions list. They are not there yet.

Every Russian war criminal must be brought to justice and sentenced through international cooperation.

Visa restrictions are also necessary for Russian citizens so that they do not use the free world for entertainment and shopping. Everyone must fight against tyranny, not adapt to it.

The third important point is financial support for Ukraine today and for post-war reconstruction.

Just as the Marshall Plan played a historic role in rebuilding Europe and creating new conditions for development and growth after World War II, a similar plan is needed and is needed now. For the world to see that freedom wins not only on the battlefield, but also in life.

As long as the war continues, we need $5-7 billion in support per month. When the war is over, we will have to rebuild everything that was destroyed by Russia for a sum exceeding 600 billion dollars.

It’s a lot for our state. This is not possible for Ukraine. But it is possible for you. And these are not just expenses for you.

Financial aid to Ukraine and post-war reconstruction aid is the prevention of far greater losses to the free world in the future.

Russia wants to move on to Europe, and all the potential aggressors in the world, who also want to ruin the lives of their neighbors, are looking to see if Russia is succeeding now and if they are able to repeat it.

We must organize the work of rebuilding Ukraine after the war so that the best experience of democratic countries can be applied with maximum efficiency.

In particular, we invite the friends of Ukraine to join in the reconstruction, sponsoring the regions, cities or industries of our country which have suffered from the war, which are destroyed. For example, the United Kingdom has already been asked to sponsor the restoration of the disoccupied area of ​​kyiv.

And today, taking into account the German presidency of the G7, I propose to apply the format of cooperation which has shown its effectiveness in the unification of the German state.

When it is clearly defined who is involved in the restoration and reintegration of normal life in each region, each city, each community, this guarantees effectiveness.

Such cooperation will strengthen economic and technological ties in Europe and will benefit not only our country, but also your countries, regions and businesses.

I am also grateful to the European Union and the United Kingdom for their decision to abolish customs duties and quotas on our trade. This is an important step in favor of our State and freedom in general. And it is the decision that we would justly expect from our other partners.

I appeal to all G7 participants. It is time to eliminate bilateral trade barriers.

Everything I have said now is, in fact, parts of the same question.

The question is how long this war will last and how much destruction, how many casualties will Ukraine suffer.

We must do everything possible to end the war as soon as possible with the victory of freedom. For the longer the war, the greater the benefits of tyranny and the greater the loss of freedom. And not only in Ukraine, but throughout Europe.

The lives of more than ten million people in Ukraine who have become internally displaced have already been destroyed. But the world is also on the brink of a food crisis because of Russia’s actions. The Chancellor has also spoken about this now. So how many millions more lives will be lost in dozens of countries across Africa and Asia due to food shortages and political chaos that will follow rising food prices?

We need an effective tool for global food security. And we propose to create it.

If we have an Organization of Grain Exporting Countries that respects international law, values ​​democracy and strives to protect human rights, including the right to life and guaranteed well-being, we will be able to ensure food stability and a historic victory over famine.

Ukraine is ready to present all details of this proposal to the appropriate working level.


I salute the efforts of each of you. I am grateful to each of you for arms, sanctions and support. But I’m sure you realize that we need more weapons, more sanctions, more support to ensure freedom is protected. And to secure security for decades by concluding a relevant effective agreement with clear guarantees for Ukraine.

I propose to your states – the largest democracies in the world – to become the guarantors of Ukraine’s security. Because that is what guarantees the security of all of central and eastern Europe. Therefore, secure the trust of your people that freedom always wins.

Thank you again to each country, to each leader present.

Thank you for your attention!

Glory to Ukraine!

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