Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly televised address to the nation hailed Monday as a “very important day” as a conference devoted to the recovery of his country commenced in Lugano, Switzerland.
But he said the reconstruction of Ukraine should go beyond “the restoration of the walls that we had and that were destroyed by shelling.”
“Ukraine must become the freest, most modern and safest country in Europe — in every sense of the word, in particular, in terms of our environment. I'm sure we will,” he said.
Zelensky warned that efforts on the recovery should not only focus on the next years but also on the present.
“Ukrainian forces liberated more than a thousand settlements from the occupiers, and new ones are added every week. Now, for example, in the south of our country. All of them suffered large-scale destruction. And this also means the need for colossal funds for the restoration of infrastructure, for the return of medicine and social services, for the restoration of normal economic life. There are tens of thousands of destroyed houses alone in the liberated areas,” he said, adding that "a significant part of the economy has been destroyed."
“That is why the recovery of Ukraine is not only about what needs to be done later, after our victory, but also about what needs to be done at this time. And we have to do it together with our partners, with the entire democratic world. Do now,” he said.
Zelensky concluded his address by congratulating US President Joe Biden and the American people on Independence Day saying that responding to the daily Russian offensive requires "superhuman efforts."
“But we have no alternative — this is about our independence, about our future, about the fate of the entire Ukrainian people,” he said.