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Building up a fleet, de-occupation of Crimea, prisoners of the Kremlin and sanctions: the main points from Zelenskyy’s interview

Photo: Office of the President

Photo: Office of the President

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the materialization of a "large fleet" in Ukraine by 2035. In an interview with Crimean journalists as part of the project Crimean Newsdesk, he noted that against the background of preparations for unblocking the Black Sea region, the Ukrainian authorities are faced with the task of building up "a professional powerful fleet capable of repelling anyone."

Ukrainian military fleet by 2035

«As for our navy, we now have three stages. By 2035—building up of a large fleet. We will see the first stage in reality: it will definitely be implemented by 2024. The second stage will be implemented by 2030, the third—by2035.»

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine

The head of state specified that infrastructure is needed for a full-fledged shipbuilding of Ukraine. Therefore, the Ukrainian side will involve other states for the construction of the fleet and at the same time build everything necessary for this at home. According to him, by 2035 the Ukrainian fleet will have "corvettes, military boats, and small submarines", as well as military bases.

«The first to be built (naval base—ed. note) In Berdyansk. The idea is the support this project by the European Union, by the United Kingdom, and the United States. We have definitely received the full support for this project from the UK. I will have a meeting with the President of the United States, and this (development of the Navy—ed note) is part of our meeting and part of the Crimean platform.»

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine

Kremlin political prisoners

During the interview the President emphasized the importance of the Crimean political prisoners' release. However, according to him, the only way to resolve this problem is negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

«All the lists have been created thanks to the work of our ombudsman. I don’t know about these lists, except for the creation, if there are really effective steps. Today, apart from direct negotiations with the President of Russia regarding the Crimean prisoners, I see no other way out. I believe that other options should be generated precisely on the Crimean platform. This is an important issue—the issue of political prisoners today. It's completely slowed down.»

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine

Zelenskyy added that Russia does not consider these people political prisoners, since for the Kremlin "there was no occupation of Crimea." Meanwhile, the President stressed that other states, besides the Russian Federation, do not want to raise this issue either.

Ukraine's sanctions for Crimea

As for the issue of imposing sanctions for political repression in Crimea, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine sees the point in imposing them only where they have real influence. Other states can help with this. The states that, with their restrictive measures, can affect business, real estate, and the accounts of "Russian officials linked to repressions."

"But if every day, for example, by the decision of the NSDC, we impose sanctions against interim leaders who do not hurt at all from this, I believe that we will simply discredit the NSDC."

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine

Returning Crimea to Ukraine

Zelenskyy is confident that the residents of Crimea will welcome the return of the peninsula under the rule of Ukraine.

"Local people, Crimeans, saw what would happen without Ukraine. Russians come there as if for a visit... They understand what this is turning into. Therefore, I am sure there will be no need to make any mental changes. With joy to accept the Ukrainian government in Crimea... Even those who have this Octobrist badge in their hearts will still rejoice. Because life will return to Crimea with Ukraine."

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine


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