President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has met with foreign journalists and called on media representatives and world leaders not to create panic about the war with the Russian Federation, as it is damaging Ukraine’s economy.

The Head of State noted that today he does not see the threat of a greater escalation than earlier, at the beginning of last year.

“The number of servicemen has actually increased, but I talked about this at the beginning of 2021 when we discussed Russia’s military exercises. Then, there was a big buildup, and then we were supported by the United States and our European friends. They called on Russia to withdraw troops. Now, I do not consider the situation tenser than it was then, at the peak of the exercises,” Zelensky said.

He stressed that at that time the situation was also very difficult, but there was no such media policy in the Ukrainian and world information space as there is today.

“Journalists, who want to know how things are going, come to Kyiv. Do we have tanks driving on the streets? No, we don’t … But there is a feeling from the media that we have a war, we have troops on the roads, we have mobilisation, and people are going somewhere. It is not true. We do not need this panic,” the President noted.

At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility of escalation, saying that escalating panic is damaging Ukraine’s economy.

“I started talking to the leaders of states and explaining to them that today we need to stabilise the economy of our state because of all these signals that tomorrow there will be a war … Signals came even from respected leaders of states. They are already saying, not even in a diplomatic way: ‘Tomorrow there will be a war.’ This is panic. Panic in the market, panic in the financial sector. How much does it cost to our state?” Zelensky emphasised.

He also reiterated that Ukraine is ready for any diplomatic talks with Russia, both bilateral and involving partners. If Moscow has questions for Kyiv, it is necessary to meet and talk, not to build up troops.

Zelensky added that he also supports the format involving U.S. President Joe Biden.

“I wish President Biden could do this so that we have a negotiating platform in the US-Ukraine-Russia format,” the Head of State said.

In his opinion, this format could take place in parallel with the Normandy negotiation process.

Bohdan Marusyak

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