Santiago — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on Latin American countries to join the sanctions against Russia and for the region’s countries to cut trade links with Moscow.
“I want them to join these policies carried out by the United States, Canada, that this policy of sanctions be more effective,” he said in a videoconference organized by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile on Wednesday.
“Do not maintain trade with Russia, so that the Russians understand that a high price is being paid,” Zelenskiy said.
He clarified that this “high” cost should not imply more loss of lives: “We understand that we live in a modern, contemporary world”, he said, and suggested the use of “civilized instruments” to put pressure on Moscow.
You can watch a video of Zelenskiy’s speech at the conference, dubbed into Spanish, below:
Zelenskiy considers that he does not have “enough communications” with the leaders of the nations of the region, specifically at the level of bilateral relations. “I think that has to be corrected,” he said.
According to the Ukrainian president, Russia is trying to prevent Kyiv’s “contacts” with the countries of Latin America and Africa.
“We have to confront Russian propaganda, demand full responsibility for murderers and war criminals. They must be condemned by a competent justice system,” he added.
This was Zelenskiy’s his first public outreach to Latin America nearly six months since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It matters to us that Latin American countries know the truth and share our truth with others,” Zelenskiy added.
The Mercosur bloc declined a request from Zelenskiy to speak at its summit held in late July. Paraguay’s Vice Minister of Economic Integration, Raul Cano, told the press in Asunción that, “in these circumstances, the conditions are not given” for such an intervention.
The Ukrainian president holds regular talks with leaders from the United States, Europe and Asia.