“French companies must quit the Russian market,” Zelensky said during a 15-minute video address to MPs.
“Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and others must stop sponsoring the Russian war machine.
“French companies must stop financing the murder and rape of women and children. Everyone must remember that values are worth more than profits.”
He told his French audience that the war launched by the Russian invasion forces was “against liberté, égalité, fraternité” and said that the city of Mariupol, where some 100,000 civilians are still trapped, “reminds us of the ruins of Verdun”.
He paid tribute to the diplomatic efforts of French president Emmanuel Macron, with whom he speaks regularly on the phone, but called for more military aid.
French lawmakers gave Ukraine and its ambassador to France three standing ovations before the address by Zelensky, who has spoken to parliaments across the Western world in previous weeks in a bid to garner support for his country.
He told MPs: “The Russian army makes no distinction between targets. They destroy residential areas, hospitals, schools, universities.”
“They do not take into account the concepts of war crimes.”
Partly state-owned Renault suspended its production at its plants near Moscow last month after Russia’s invasion but has since reportedly resumed production.
Major French retailers such as Auchan, Leroy Merlin and sports group Decathlon have not followed a boycott of Russia by other top Western brands from McDonalds to Coca-Cola.
French energy giant TotalEnergies, formerly known as Total, has said it will continue to buy Russian gas but will stop purchasing Russian oil and petroleum products by the end of this year.
“I know how to replace this oil and diesel fuel,” CEO Patrick Pouyanne told RTL radio on Wednesday, but “with gas, I don’t know how to do it.”