Europe stands with Ukraine. The European Parliament stands with the Verkhovna Rada. Ukraine is Europe. This was the message of the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola as she welcomed the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk for the Plenary Session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
© European Union | European Parliament President Roberta Metsola with the Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk
We have the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and my dearest friend, Ruslan Stefanchuk, with us today.
Ruslan, I know how difficult it is to leave Ukraine at the moment and I know how important it is for us that you are here today.
Welcoming you here in Strasbourg, two months after we met in Kyiv, confirms the strong and unique link between the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada.
Your fight for freedom, for democracy, for the values that bind us as Europeans, is our fight. What Ukraine has had to endure was unthinkable a few months ago, but your people have inspired the world. Your courage, your determination and your defiance in the name of liberty will be spoken about for generations to come.
Europe stands with Ukraine. Our Parliament stands with the Rada. Europeans opened their borders, their homes and their hearts to 6 million Ukrainians forced to flee their homeland. We have sent military, financial, political and humanitarian support. And we will continue.
We cannot lose momentum. We cannot lose focus. We cannot turn away and allow war fatigue to set in.
Dear Ruslan, when we say the European Parliament stands with you, it is a message that bears enormous responsibility for us. We want to assure you that we will continue to support you with any assistance needed to push back against the consequences of the Russian invasion.
And we will try to help push peace forward. A real peace. In Europe, we understand only too painfully that peace without liberty, peace without justice, is no peace at all.
The European Parliament will also continue actively supporting you as you apply for EU candidate status. We know how important it is to send a clear signal that Ukraine’s place is within our European family. To tell everyone that Ukraine is Europe.
We also need to start a proper discussion on the recovery and rebuilding of Ukraine. As I said in Kyiv - we will help rebuild every city and every town from Mariupol to Irpin, from Kherson to Kharkiv. And we will hold war criminals accountable.
Thank you dear Ruslan, for the efforts of the Verkhovna Rada and your personal commitment in sustaining a vision of a European future for your country against all odds.
Dear Chairman, Dear Ruslan, the floor is yours. Slava Ukraini.
You can read the President's speech in Ukrainian here.