Ukraine’s Zelensky makes surprise virtual appearance at energy forum in Doha

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (shown in Kyiv). File photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

March 26 (UPI) — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise video appearance Saturday at an energy forum in Qatar’s capital Doha where he urged countries to increase energy production.

He called on countries to hike their production so Russia could not use its oil and gas wealth for global “blackmail” in the video appearance during the annual political forum on global energy challenges in the gas-rich nation.

“The future of Europe depends on your effort,” Zelenksy said in the video, Anadolu Agency reported. “I ask you to increase your energy output to ensure that everyone in Russia understands that no country can use energy as a weapon to blackmail the world.”

Zelensky also called for support to end the more than monthlong Russian war on Ukraine, citing the danger of Russia’s nuclear weapons.

“Russia is deliberately bragging they can destroy with nuclear weapons, not only a certain country, but the entire planet,” Zelensky said. “We have to ensure this sacred month of Ramadan is not overshadowed by the misery of people in Ukraine.”

“[Qatar] can make their contribution to the stabilization of Europe,” Zelensky added in the video address to the Doha forum, also referencing other conflict-stricken countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, CNN reported.

Zelensky warned that Russia has also been attacking its ports, which could lead to global economic impact by disrupting the supply of wheat and food prices globally since Ukraine is the fifth-largest exporter of wheat and Russia is he world’s largest exporter.

“They are destroying our ports,” Zelensky said. “The absence of exports from Ukraine will deal a blow to countries worldwide.”


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