In a recently released video statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has underscored Ukraine's determination to defend its interests in the Black Sea region against Russia. Zelenskyy's comments were made in response to escalating tensions between the two nations and were issued shortly after Ukraine reportedly targeted a Russian warship near a major Russian port and struck a tanker.
In the video address, President Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of unhindered maritime access for Ukraine's trade activities. He expressed concerns over potential blockades in the Black Sea that could disrupt Ukraine's ability to import and export critical goods, including grain. Zelenskyy's remarks reflected the Ukrainian government's commitment to safeguarding its economic and trade routes.
Zelenskyy's forceful stance comes as a response to what he sees as Russia's aggressive actions in the Black Sea. The Ukrainian President warned that if Russia were to persist in its efforts to control the Black Sea beyond its territorial waters, engaging in activities such as blockades or military aggression, Ukraine would respond in kind. He stressed that Ukraine's response would be aimed at preserving the nation's opportunities and corridors for trade, underscoring the principle of just defense.
"We don't have an abundance of naval vessels," President Zelenskyy acknowledged. "However, it should be clear that by the end of any conflict, Russia will find itself with no vessels left."
Zelenskyy also called on Russia to cease its attacks on Ukrainian ports and to permit the resumption of trade activities. These comments were delivered during a briefing with reporters from various Latin American countries, further highlighting Ukraine's efforts to garner international support for its position.