At the start of this war, I was talking to Elon. He asked me how he could help. And helped. Thanks to his technologies, we can provide our people with a stable Internet even when Russian missiles have destroyed the entire infrastructure.
But are there world leaders who are worried about whether Elon will pick up the phone when he gets a phone call, or those who are worried if he will pick them up? Are there leaders wondering what the table will be like when Elon Musk sits down to talk to them? So what really has an impact? What missiles? Serving science or serving death? Something is out of control, whether it is our own influence, which we begin to underestimate, or our attitude towards leadership, our attitude towards what it means to be a leader.
I have a lot of respect for Boris Johnson. He is a true friend and staunch defender of freedom. But, unfortunately, not everything depends on whether the products will be on the tables of millions of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It was the Russian fleet, and not the British or any other, that blocked the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, and the world was on the verge of a terrible food crisis. And it's not just the price crisis. We cannot export our wheat, corn, vegetable oil and other products that played a stabilizing role in the world market. This means that, unfortunately, dozens of countries could face food shortages. Millions of people could starve to death if the Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues.
We are constantly talking with Boris and other leaders about how to lift the Russian blockade of our ports and restore freedom of navigation, one of the fundamental freedoms of humanity. But while we are looking for ways to protect freedom, another person destroys it. The other person continues to blackmail the world with hunger. He is different in every sense of the word, especially how this person fights for influence. And my question is: why is this different still acceptable to some leaders and countries?
I leave this question to you, because really everyone should answer it. First of all, for myself, in order to deeply feel what is called values. Are they there?
It's only fair that the healthcare workers who fought COVID were honored this year in TIME's poll. They are truly the healers of their time. And with their conscientious work, they called the whole world to unite, finally, to unite. At first, indifferent countries thought that it was enough just to close the borders and provide themselves, first of all, with a vaccine. But later it became clear that COVID-19 has no borders, and it cannot be fought only within national borders. Even the most advanced healthcare systems were not prepared for the virus. Unfortunately, they had to go through the horrendous injustice of the fight against COVID-19 in order to find a vaccine, to agree on a common response rule, a global mechanism for the distribution of vaccines. Why is this happening again?
Weapons and sanctions are a vaccine: the COVID-22 vaccine that Russia brought. Hate is a virus and even more deadly than COVID-19. It spreads through propaganda – thanks to the impunity of killers, thanks to Russian oil still on the world market, thanks to money still flowing between the global financial system and Russian banks, thanks to large companies still believing that there is not enough blood for money. from the Russian market, although tens of thousands of people died and millions were forced to leave their homes because of this war.
When hate knocks at your door, will you be ready? Will any masks protect you from Russian COVID-22? And why is it so difficult to obtain a vaccine against it – weapons and sanctions – in sufficient quantities? Why do some countries pretend that COVID-22 does not exist? As for conspiracy theorists, there was no COVID-19. Why don't some people learn anything even from blood and death?
I am grateful to President Biden for unifying the free world when the threat of Russia arose. Today we have different tools to respond. These are defense support for Ukraine, financial assistance and political coordination between countries. It is also Lend-Lease, which brings back the sense of fighting for freedom, which was relevant during the Second World War, because the current threat is similar in scale.
However, Russia's war against Ukraine is still going on, and as you listen to me, the Ukrainian military is dying on the battlefield. The Russian army is bombarding our cities with artillery and aircraft. There are more than 260 names on the list of children killed in Russian strikes on February 24.
And when will this end?
In fact, this is the key question. But why is there still no answer? Why is our influence not enough for this? Are we cowards? No. Perhaps we are missing something in real power. We may not be using the full potential of our influence and leadership. This is my question to the United States, the parties, the public, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the President.
It's time to be 100% influential. We can defeat tyranny. Indeed, each of us is each leader of our time. We can reliably protect freedom. We can stop the blackmail from a man who has no place on our list at all. If we are ready for it, we must do it, because influence obliges us to do it.”