'Russia can't use energy to blackmail other nations' - Zelensky

In a speech to the Doha Forum via video link, Zelensky called on energy-producing countries to reach out in order to prevent a shortage of energy world-wide.

illustrative image of a gas pipeline. (photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)
illustrative image of a gas pipeline.
(photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on energy producing countries on Saturday to increase output so that Russia cannot use its oil and gas wealth to "blackmail" other nations.

Addressing the Doha Forum international conference via video link, Zelensky said countries such as Qatar could make a contribution to the stabilization of Europe.

"They can do much to restore justice. The future of Europe depends on your effort. I ask you to increase the output of energy to ensure that everyone in Russia understands that no country can use energy as a weapon and blackmail the world," he said in translated comments.

The month-long invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Europe's top gas supplier, has sharpened concerns of disruption to energy supplies and increased scrutiny of European Union countries' reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Zelensky also said no country is insured against shocks from disruptions to food supply happening because of Russia's invasion of his country. Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain producers.

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeals to Russians to stage protests over Russian forces' seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, during an address from Kyiv, Ukraine March 4, 2022 in this still image from video.  (credit: Courtesty of Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS ) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeals to Russians to stage protests over Russian forces' seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, during an address from Kyiv, Ukraine March 4, 2022 in this still image from video. (credit: Courtesty of Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS )

"The world's markets have not yet overcome from the repercussions of the pandemic, from the price shocks of food. No one is insured against these shocks and you cannot be insured if there is a physical scarcity of food," he said.

"Russian troops are covering fields in Ukraine for miles, they are exploding agrarian equipment."