President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that democratic countries should stick to a number of principles, including unity, democracy, independence, responsibility,

“The first is unity. This is the foundation. This is something that should always be not only formally, but also in essence. Not only at summits, but also in deeds. […] Russia is afraid of our unity. So it goes to great lengths to break it. But we are only strengthening our unity. And therefore, we cannot be conquered by Russia. Neither Ukraine, nor Montenegro, nor any other state of the free world,” the head of state said addressing the 2BS FORUM in Montenegro on Saturday, Oct 8.

Speaking about democracy, Zelensky noted that “the current leaders of Russia have an obsessive desire to break the principle of democratic change of power in all countries regarding which they have aggressive ambitions.”

“They do not recognize the results of elections and people’s movements when they lose influence because of them. And they try to stage coups or corrupt the political process when they choose a puppet to represent their interests. We have to strictly oppose this,” he said.

Zelensky stressed that “all European states must dismantle any Russian networks of influence. So that there is no spread of misinformation, corruption and criminal politics.”

“The third is independence. We should recognize the obvious at all levels in Europe and the world: Russia is not a threat to one, but to everyone. Therefore, everyone must achieve complete independence from Russia, so that it cannot turn dependence on it into shackles: economic dependence, energy dependence, political dependence – any,” he said.

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“And the fifth point is responsibility. For many years, the head of Russia and his entourage have felt complete impunity. […] They started a war against Ukraine in 2014 because they felt that they would not be punished for it. The war against Georgia showed them this,” the president said, adding that “to bring them to justice is to guarantee long-term peace after this war.”

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