Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday urged the West not to feed panic over an imminent Russian attack, as the feeling is being created that there are tanks on the country’s streets and people are fleeing. when this is not the case.
That call for balanced reporting on the current tensions on the border – where Russia already has more than 100,000 Russian troops – was also transferred directly to US President Joe Biden, Zelensky said at a press conference today with foreign media.
“We’ve talked to the president, we’ve talked about it. We think there should be a balanced approach. I’m not saying it’s influencing the American media, they’re independent, but media policy has to be balanced. If you want to know what the situation is, can come to Kiev,” stressed the Ukrainian president.
“Do we have tanks on the streets? No. But that’s the feeling if you’re not here. The image created by the media that we have troops on the roads, we have mobilization, people are leaving? It’s not like that. We don’t need this panic”, he added. .
The US president yesterday told Zelensky that there is a “clear possibility” that Russia will invade Ukraine in February, while the White House denied information from broadcaster “CNN”, which quoted an official Ukrainian source according to which Biden had told his counterpart that it was all but confirmed that Russia will invade Ukraine once the ground is frozen and that it could “loot” Kiev.
In this regard, Zelensky said that he is the president of Ukraine and he is the one who is in the country and therefore knows “the details better than any other president”.
“We don’t disagree with President Biden. It’s just that I know deeply what is happening in my country, just as he knows deeply what is happening in the United States,” he said.
In addition, he reiterated that Kiev “does not see a greater escalation than before”, referring to the deployment of Russian soldiers on the border with Ukraine in April 2021 to carry out military maneuvers.
“Of course, we don’t see a bigger escalation than before. Yes, the number of soldiers has increased, but I already talked about it in early 2021, when Russia carried out the military exercises,” recalled the Ukrainian president.
“I don’t think the situation is more intense than it was then. At the height, in early 2021, it was very intense, but there was no media coverage as strong as it is now,” he commented.
In any case, Zelensky stressed that he does not mean that “an escalation is excluded”.
“We’ve been talking about this for eight years,” when armed conflict erupted between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, he detailed.
“The escalation has already taken place. Unfortunately, part of our territories are temporarily occupied” by Russia, he stressed.
The Ukrainian president also stressed that this “panic” has an impact on the economy.
“I told President Biden – and I think the United States supports it – that I started talking to leaders about the need to stabilize our country’s economy after these signs that tomorrow there will be a war,” he explained.
“Because these signals were sent even by leaders of respected countries. Sometimes they don’t even use diplomatic language and say ‘tomorrow there will be war’ and that means panic in the market, panic in the financial sector”, he lamented.
Zelensky recalled that in 2021 the Ukrainian GDP registered a “record” and achieved US$ 6.5 billion in new investments, but after the start of media reports of an immediate Russian attack, US$ 2.5 billion in investments were withdrawn. from the country.
This means that Ukraine will have to draw on the national reserve to stabilize its currency. “It’s the price we pay for an unbalanced information policy,” he criticized.
Several countries have agreed to support Ukraine economically, according to Zelensky, as Kiev will have to spend between $4 billion and $5 billion on stabilizing the country.
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