President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Ukraine aimed to reclaim Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, as he called on his Western partners to provide him with more weaponry.
"Our objective is to liberate all of our territories," he told an audience in Davos, speaking in Ukrainian. "Crimea is our land, our territory, our sea, and our mountains. Give us your weapons and we will bring our land back."
"I would like to thank again our partners," Zelensky told a panel including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and former British prime minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
"But at the same time, there are times when we shouldn't hesitate and say: 'I will give tanks if someone else shares their tanks.'I don't think this is the right strategy to go with."
Zelensky has been pleading for Germany to send Leopard 2 battle tanks. But so far Chancellor Olaf Scholz has resisted, saying he needed to be in lockstep with NATO allies, namely the United States.
German media outlets including Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday night that Scholz was now ready to provide the Leopards as long as Washington provides comparable tanks.
"We need all the strength there is out there," Zelensky told the panel by video link from Kiev.
When asked by moderator Fareed Zakaria whether he aimed to reclaim the Crimean Peninsula from Russia, he replied: "Give us your weapons and we will bring our land back."
"Give them the tanks. There is absolutely nothing to be lost," Johnson said, a position echoed by fellow panellist Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister of Canada.