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Zelensky: 90 days ahead will be more crucial for Ukraine than past 30 years of independence
President Volodymyr Zelensky took part in the 17th annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference where he spoke about the country's EU membership, the Russian-orchestrated energy crisis, and what Ukraine needs to win the war.
The president emphasized that there are "three fundamental conditions for achieving peace – weapons, ammunition, finances," adding that the "support for Ukraine in the war must be maintained."
"Russia is doing everything to break the resistance of Ukraine, the resistance of Europe, and the world in the next 90 days of this (upcoming) winter," said Zelensky.
"The 90 days ahead will be more crucial than 30 years of Ukraine's independence. These 90 days will be more crucial than all the years of the existence of the European Union. Winter will determine our future and the risks," Zelensky said.
According to the president, Russia has no intention to supply Europe gas and is using energy as the last bargaining chip in an attempt to decrease European support for Ukraine. "Be sure that Russia will provide zero gas supplies, and our energy systems must be fully prepared for this," he said.
However, according to Zelensky, Europe can overcome the current difficulties.
"We must fight. Endure the winter. Help those who are weaker. Protect those who need protection. Limit ourselves in what can be limited. And limit Russia in everything that should limit it," he added.
During his speech, Zelensky also said that currently, negotiations with Russia aren't possible, as Russian President Vladimir Putin can't be trusted.
"Currently, no negotiations with the Russian Federation regarding the end of the war are possible," he said. "There is no confidence that they will keep their promises."
Zelensky added that Ukraine has no other way than to defeat Russia on the battlefield.
"All of us believe in victory, and that's the main thing. Our main weapon is that we believe, know, feel victory," he added.
As for Ukraine's international goals, joining the EU remains the number one priority.
"Russia creates the illusion that Europeans must make a choice – a difficult choice between (energy) prices and values, between freedom and security, between independence and peace," said Zelensky. "But there is no such choice."
"Completing the unification of Europe is impossible without Ukraine," he said. "It will be a historic moment, a historic time – when it will be an honor for Europe to welcome our state. The state that wins."