Speaking to Swedish parliament, Ukraine’s president urges more sanctions on Russia

Ukraine’s president on Thursday called on Western countries to impose more sanctions on Russia to help halt its ongoing war on his country, which today entered its second month.

"We have not seen a destruction of this scale since World War II," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an address to the Swedish parliament.

"Just look at what the Russian army has done to our country ... A month of bombings similar to what we have seen in Syria," Zelenskyy said in a speech by video link, adding that 10 million people have been displaced since the war began, or about one-fourth of the entire country.

Saying that Sweden was the first country to decide to send arms to Ukraine in its fight against Russian occupation, he thanked it for standing by Ukraine and supporting sanctions against Russia.

The Swedish government also decided to send 5,000 more AT4 anti-tank guns to Ukraine.

In the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an issue out of Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO, though it is nowhere near membership. He expressed similar opposition to Nordic countries near Russia such as Sweden joining NATO.

A poll taken in early March, just after Russia launched the war, found for the first time a majority of Swedes in favor of joining the NATO alliance.

Since Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, Zelenskyy has addressed parliaments in several countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, France, and Britain.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, has met international outrage, with the EU, US, and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 977 civilians have been killed so far in Ukraine and 1,594 injured, according to UN estimates, while cautioning that the true figure is likely far higher.

Over 3.6 million Ukrainians have also fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.

Source: Anadolu Agency