FIPP Congress isn’t the only big media event getting underway today, as this morning saw the launch of the 5th edition of the FT Live global boardroom digital conference. Opening the proceedings was a special keynote interview with Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, who was emphatic about the role that journalism has to play in exposing Putin’s lies to the world.
“It is very important that you keep interest in our country, this is not simply the problem of Ukraine, this is a global issue,” the President told Financial Times Editor, Roula Khalaf. “The journalistic community is of critical importance to the situation in Ukraine. You need to be very responsible, and what you are doing can breach the iron curtain to tell the Russian people who their leader really is.”
Zelensky was also asked about some of the wider issues facing the country, with the war now having moved over the 100 day mark, and gave candid answers about the good – and bad – of the wider international response.
“We treat sanctions very seriously and believe this is a very powerful weapon. A weapon without blood. Sanctions against Russia work when they are implemented in a very concrete way.”
“As of right now, some countries – which I won’t name individually – are trying to nudge us towards negotiations or agreements. Everybody is supporting Ukraine, but some are also checking on what could be done to weaken sanctions so that businesses are not weakened further, taking soundings. If you are saying something, you need to reinforce these words with concrete actions.”
It was a hard-hitting opening to the digital event, which boasts an impressive programme of speakers including the likes of Ivan Duque – President of Columbia, Gina Raimondo – Secretary of Commerce for the US, Haruhiko Kuroda – Governor of the Bank of Japan and 100+ others from across the financial, tech, and political sectors.
The event runs through Thursday and is free to stream – you can find out more here.
[Main image: Kyiv, Ukraine – 2022, March 7: Volodymyr Zelensky the president of Ukraine on TV. Russia president Vladimir Putin in the background – Shutterstock.com/Rokas Tenys]