During a virtual forum held at the Catholic University of Chile, Ukraine's President Volodymir Zelensky claimed Russia did not want his country to develop stronger ties with Latin America, which he urged to join global sanctions against his enemy.
The Russian Federation does not want Ukraine to get closer to Latin American countries, Zelensky argued as he urged countries in this region to join global sanctions against the Government of Vladimir Putin.
What matters to us is that Latin American countries know the truth and share our truth with others, Zelensky said. Asked about what he expected from Latin American countries, the Ukrainian leader replied that I want them to join those policies carried out by the United States, to make that sanctions policy more effective.
He went on: Do not maintain trade with Russia, so that the Russians understand that there is a high price to pay for this. Also, cease any commercial activity with Russia or prevent the arrival of Russian tourists to Latin American territory.
I believe that we do not have enough communications between our countries in terms of leaders, in terms of bilateral relations, and I think it has to be corrected, Zelensky added. You have to understand that the Russian Federation tries to prevent our contacts with the countries of Latin America and Africa, because Russia has its influence, he said.
Zelensky also underlined that there are already citizens and authorities from other parts of the world who have selected a Ukrainian city or region to contribute to the reconstruction. They help us, they come with their businesses, their experts, their young people, their equipment, and they rebuild our country with us, bringing it back to life, he explained. He also expressed his interest in having students from the region visit Ukraine to contribute with their youth to the reconstruction.
Latin American countries can do the same: choose a city they like. Please come and visit us, and I believe that this can also matter to us because bilateral relations are always built on coexistence, Zelensky insisted.
He also said he had spoken with Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font about the possibility of sending Chilean specialists to de-mine areas in Ukraine. Zelensky also invited Chilean reporters over to Ukraine. We do not want to hide something, we want our truth to be brought to your countries, he noted. ”I want all journalists to come to my country, to communicate and see with their eyes the consequences of the war and then bring all their reproductions to you (the audience), and then you will be able to understand what Russia did against us, and it will be then that you will already be able to say what you can do to help us stop that war.
We have many pains in common. We have a society that is strong, that is defending itself, but if someone visits us for peace we are able to be true friends. I think that is what is missing, what is missing to get to know each other, Zelensky further stated.
The soul of every Ukrainian was transformed into incredible pain and I don't think that pain will pass very quickly (...) What we want is for life to come back. It's not going to be like it was, naturally, it's not going to be the same ever. We will never forgive that. We don't want Russia's apologies, we don't need them, we don't want to live near them, but it's life, they are our neighbors, and we can't move away from home and go somewhere else, he added.
They stole from our hearts, our souls, our lives... That's why no forgiveness. But we will never try to take revenge, the president stressed. When we talk about Russia's war against Ukraine we are talking about eight years; when we talk about the victims, we start this story not from February 2022, but from 2014 when they started killing Ukrainians just for being Ukrainians.”