Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Tuesday the EU “not to let Ukraine down” and promised that the EU would be stronger with Ukraine.
Speaking by a video link at the European Parliament’s plenary session dedicated to the Russian-Ukrainian war, Zelenskyy welcomed the EU’s unified support for Ukraine but noted that he didn’t know Ukraine had to pay “such a high price for it”.
He said that his country is paying the “price of freedom” since Russian President Vladimir Putin started a war on Ukraine on Thursday.
He cited the two missile attacks against the city of Kharkiv on Tuesday morning and said that only yesterday, 16 children were killed by the Russian attacks.
“Nobody is going to break us. We are strong, we are Ukrainian,” Zelenskyy stated, but he stressed that we want “to see our children alive.”
He called on EU lawmakers to “prove you are with us, prove that you won’t let us down, prove that you are European too.”
“EU will be much stronger with Ukraine,” Zelenskyy asserted.
EP plenary on Russian aggression against Ukraine
Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, said the EU lawmakers “will not look away” on the war crimes committed and will support an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
She vowed to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accountable if they committed war crimes.
Metsola also welcomed Ukraine’s EU candidacy and promised support for the country’s EU accession.
EU lawmakers will adopt later in the day a resolution condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Since Russia’s war on Ukraine began last Thursday, it has been met by outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions on Russia.
The EU adopted last week three sanctions packages against Russia, targeting among others President Putin, top diplomat Sergey Lavrov, the Russian banking sector, and key state-owned companies.
On Sunday, President Zelenskyy officially signed Ukraine’s request to join the EU.
In an open letter, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania expressed support for Ukraine’s swift candidacy.
So far, at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed and 400 others, including 26 children, injured in Ukraine, according to UN figures.
Around 660,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, the UN Refugee Agency said on Tuesday.