On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemning the war hype being spread by world leaders, like President Joe Biden, claiming that there is an imminent war brewing with Russia.
Zelensky stated that the panic being caused by those statements ahem already cost Ukraine 12.5 billion hryvnia (which is about $437 million) in foreign investment.
Zelensky spent nearly an hour and a half with reporters at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday following what has become a controversial phone conversation with President Biden on Thursday night. While the official readouts from both Washington and Kyiv depicted the call as productive and friendly, a CNN report based on anonymous sources described the call as frustrating and tedious, featuring harried warnings from Biden that Kyiv would be “sacked” and exasperated requests from Zelensky for the president to “calm down.”
Zelensky did tell reporters that he spent much of the call emphasizing to Biden that telling the world that Russia would imminently invade Ukraine – something Kyiv has repeatedly stated there is little material evidence to believe – could lead to economic devastation in the country that would, in turn, increase the probability of a full-fledged Russian assault.
“I mentioned this to President Biden … we need to stabilize the economy of our country because of those signals which say that tomorrow there will be war,” Zelensky explained, “because these signals were sent by even leaders of the respected countries, sometimes they are not even using diplomatic language! They are saying, ‘Tomorrow is the war.'”
“This means panic on the market, panic in the financial sector … how much does it cost to our country?” he asked.
“We have the record-breaking GDP in 2021, record-breaking number. We have the growth in a short period of time,” Zelensky continued, “but after, I think, the beginning of this informational coverage, after this change in the informational coverage, 12 and a half billion worth of investments were taken out of Ukraine.”
“We’ve talked to the president [Biden], we think that there has to be a balanced approach,” he said. “I am not saying that he is influencing American media, they are independent, but the media policy – there has to be balance.”
“If they want to know what the situation is, they can come to Kyiv. Do we have tanks on the street? No,” Zelensky noted. “The feeling is, if you’re not here, the feeling is … the image that mass media create is that we have troops on the roads, we have mobilization, people are leaving for places – that’s not the case.”
“We don’t need this panic,” he added.
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