What you need to know:
- According to Mr Zelensky, before the war, he tried to persuade European and other world leaders to help him hold direct negotiations with the president of Russia to avoid a war that he saw coming, but that never happened
Dar es Salaam. Ukraine President Vlodomir Zelensky has said the only way the war in his country can end will depend on how the world unites around Ukraine, because a similar situation could easily happen elsewhere.
Speaking during his first virtual interview with journalists from different countries in Africa, Mr Zelensky answered questions that ranged from weapons from the West, how he was ignored by European nations, to Africa’s neutral stand on the war in Ukraine.
Read: Russia-Ukraine war may hit recovery of tourism to Tanzania
The Ukraine leader said the war had set a very bad precedent for the rest of the world something that he said points to future conflicts across the globe.
“If Putin wins this war, it will be the beginning of World War III. The big world autocracies will do the same. The world will be plunged into chaos. A provoked food insecurity, a provoked energy insecurity – even not insecurity but the crisis that Russian Federation provoked last year; a war started by Russia – all these things are just the beginning, it can even get worse.”
According to Mr Zelensky, before the war, he tried to persuade European and other world leaders to help him hold direct negotiations with the president of Russia to avoid a war that he saw coming, but that never happened.
“There were always be excuses not to give this dialogue a chance.”
However, he confirmed that there are no peace talks with Russia at the moment because all that has been issued are ultimatums to his country.
“They have not offered us dialogue. They demand that we give up and accept their terms – forget that we have our own land, our own flag, our history. They just want to erase us.”
According to Mr Zelenskyy the current situation in Ukraine is similar in many ways to what was happening on the African continent, insisting that the global security system needs to be revised.
“For a long time, the world did not care, and this is wrong. We always talked about this: people who have been going through war for eight years. There is no long-distance war. What is happening in Ukraine has been happening for many years in many places on the African continent. This injustice is absolute, and the security infrastructure of the whole world needs to be changed. These international institutions need to be changed for them to work. And we stand for it.”
He further said that in his position as the President of Ukraine he knows how it hurts when the world does not pay attention to one’s problem, war, or poverty.
He said the fact that Africa and Ukraine share a common recent past, it is important, they should speak out and support.
“We do not divide the countries of the African continent into those who advocate neutrality in the war against us and those who support us. We know and are ready to supply all countries with grain and wheat. Because hunger is not neutral. Hunger comes to the country, no matter what the position of this state was before the war. It is hunger, and it is about the fact that people will die. I know that we can help the countries of the African continent without dividing them, just as they should unite to support Ukraine. Because we have the truth on our side.”
Regarding the claims that weapons supplied by the West could end up in black market in Africa and other parts of the world, Mr Zelensky refuted the allegations saying it was part of the misinformation.
“We are not selling people, we are not selling weapons, we are not selling our dignity in our statehood. Now that’s the difference between Russia and Ukraine, between our military and their military. We have open software, an open program for our partners from the UK, from the United States and several other partner countries who are assisting us with weapons. You are not hearing from the leaders of the countries who are supplying weapons to us and humanitarian assistance to us.”