The enemies of democracy must lose, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a virtual Summit for Democracy organized by the US authorities. We must get rid of the illusion that compromise with evil will give us something. President Joe Biden has announced that his administration intends to spend $9.5 billion over the next three years to promote democracy around the world.
– Democracies must learn to be uncompromising (…). We must get rid of the illusion that a compromise with evil can give freedom something. The enemies of democracy must lose. And only this can be the basis for security for democracy, he declared Volodymyr Zelensky during the panel attended by the President of the United States Joe Biden.
As the president noted, even though Ukraine is currently under attack from Russia, the Kremlin has long been at war with all free countries “through disinformation, election meddling, espionage, corruption, the export of cybercrime, or trying to cause an energy crisis that will hit people crazy electricity and gas bills.
Zelensky recognized that Ukraine can be an example for the world of how to fight for democracy and at the same time maintain freedom even during war. He also called on the summit participants to increase sanctions against Russia and to speed up military aid to his country.
“When our troops in Bakhmut repel attacks, they cannot wait for weeks before returning fire to artillery shells falling on them,” Zelensky said. “For some reason, sanctions against Russia are much slower than Russian aggression,” he added.
Zelensky also called for the freezing and allocating to the reconstruction of Ukraine not only Russian state funds, but also Russian oligarchs who “sold their silence for increasing their wealth.” “They must be motivated to act in defense of freedom and to end this aggression by the Kremlin’s terrorist group,” he said.
$9.5 billion to promote democracy
U.S. President Joe Biden, who attended the summit, announced that he plans to allocate $690 million to under the presidential initiative for projects related to combating corruption, supporting reforms and free media, and over three years the total amount of state funds spent on promoting democracy is to amount to USD 9.5 billion.
“One of the key areas we’re going to focus on is ensuring that the technologies we develop are used to promote democratic governance, not undermine it,” Biden said, pointing to a previously announced decision to ban commercial spyware from government agencies. He noted that this software – such as Israel’s Pegasus – has been used to spy on journalists, dissidents and oppositionists around the world, as well as more than 50 US officials.
– US taxpayer dollars should not support companies that are willing to sell their products to enable breaking human rights Biden said, calling on other summit participants to do the same.
The second edition of the summit
The US president is one of the 121 leaders participating in the second edition of the summit. This year it takes place in a hybrid formula and is co-organized by the Netherlands, South Korea, Zambia and Costa Rica. Compared to the December 2021 event, eight new countries joined the group of participants, but still the US allies such as Turkey, Hungary, Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Your speech on Wednesday delivered by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.
In addition to the heads of state, the summit is attended by representatives of civil society, local authorities and democratic activists, including the leader of the Belarusian opposition Swiatłana Cichanouska. On Wednesday, it was announced that the next summit would be held in South Korea.
Main photo source: YURI GRIPAS/PAP/EPA