On his first day at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had the habitual stern words of warning for his weakening Western allies.
It is the first time Zelensky has attended Davos in person since the start of the war.
He told the audience that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a ‘predator’ who will not be satisfied with a ‘frozen’ conflict.
“Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, the wartime leader recalled that after 2014 there had been ‘attempts’ to freeze the conflict in the Donbas region. According to Zelensky, Putin ‘will not change’.”
It was a hectic first day at Davos for the embattled leader, who brought his cause to the Swiss ski resort and used a harsher tone than usual with his allies as war fatigue grows.
He called on political and corporate leaders to enforce sanctions, as well as help rebuild his country and ‘advance the peace process’ – something which is pure PR since there’s zero chance his formula will prosper once it does not involve Russia.
Zelensky faces an uphill battle, since Israel’s war with Hamas has diverted most of the world’s attention from his cause, and donor fatigue in the West has set in after the failure of Kiev’s overly-hyped counteroffensive.
The upcoming reelection of US President Donald Trump will also be a problem for Zelensky’s plans.
“’Anyone thinks this is only about us, this is only about Ukraine, they are fundamentally mistaken’, he said in a speech in English at the Swiss ski resort. ‘Possible directions and even timeline of a new Russian aggression beyond Ukraine become more and more obvious’.
While lashing out at Putin for mass deportations, leveling cities and ‘the terrifying feeling that the war may never end’, he also offered pointed criticism for a world that told him not to escalate tensions ahead of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.
‘After 24 February, nothing harmed our coalition more than this concept. Every ‘Don’t escalate’ to us, sounded like ‘You will prevail’ to Putin’, Zelensky said.”
As usual, once Zelensky thanks his backers, is just a preamble to a further demand or complaint. So he thanked allies for the packages of sanctions on Moscow – but immediately urged them to ensure they work.
During his earlier visit to Swiss President Viola Amherd in the capital Bern, he also touted his PR ‘peace formula’ and the pair called on countries to join a future summit on the issue.
“‘We want a broad-based summit with as many countries as possible taking part so that we can be successful’, she said. In his speech at Davos, Zelensky invited every leader who respects international law to join, saying ‘Peace must be the answer’.”
Zelensky’s first in-person attendance at the World Economic Forum was attended by NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and US envoy for Ukraine’s economic recovery, Penny Pritzker, among other power players.
While Ukraine’s president became the ‘hot ticket’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the world continued its course in ways that are not good for him.
“Putin hosted North Korea’s foreign minister at the Kremlin yesterday amid US and South Korean allegations that Pyongyang is supplying Russia with massive amounts of artillery shells and missiles to continue bombarding Ukraine.
For all the warmth toward Zelensky in the Swiss Alps, more than $100 billion in military aid and financial support for Ukraine from the US and the European Union remains frozen by political disputes in Washington and Brussels.”