Ukraine’s Zelenskiy tells EU: ‘Prove that you’re with us’

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy speaks in a video speech where he called on the West to consider imposing a no-fly zone on Russian missiles, planes and helicopters, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks in a video speech where he called on the West to consider imposing a no-fly zone on Russian missiles, planes and helicopters, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv , Ukraine, February 28, 2022 in this still image captured from video. Press Service of the President of Ukraine / via Reuters TV / Documentary broadcast via REUTERS =

March 1, 2022

By Philip Blenkinsop and Ingrid Melander

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – “Prove that you’re with us,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the European Union on Tuesday, a day after Kyiv formally applied to join the bloc as the country battles with the European Union. Russian forces.

EU lawmakers, many wearing #standwithUkraine t-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, others wearing scarves or blue and yellow ribbons, gave Zelenskiy a standing ovation as he addressed the European Parliament. via video link.

“We are fighting to be equal members of Europe,” Zelenskiy said in Ukrainian in a speech translated into English by a tearful interpreter.

“Prove that you are with us. Prove that you won’t let us go. Prove that you really are European, and then life will triumph over death and light will triumph over darkness,” he said. “The EU will be much stronger with us.”

Zelenskiy remained in Kyiv to rally his people against the invasion. As he spoke to EU lawmakers and top officials, a Russian armored column brought down the Ukrainian capital.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic spoke to Zelenskiy’s call, and said the EU would supply Ukraine with weapons, in addition to imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russia after it invaded Russia. Ukraine tour last week.

“And we will rebuild with you the beautiful country after your victory,” he said.


The presidents of eight Central and Eastern European countries on Monday published an open letter calling on Ukraine to be granted EU candidate status immediately and begin formal membership negotiations.

However, Ukraine is well aware that any membership process will be long and difficult, even as it manages after the war to avoid falling back under Moscow domination.

Charles Michel, the president of EU leaders, told the EU Parliament after Zelenskiy’s speech that the bloc would have to seriously consider Ukraine’s “legitimate” request to join.

But he added: “It will be difficult, we know that there are different views in Europe (about zooming in further).”

The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution – by 637 votes in favor to 13 abstentions, with 26 abstentions – calling for tougher sanctions “with the aim of strategically weakening the economy” economic and industrial base of Russia, especially the military-industrial complex”.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin “recalls the most horrifying claims of 20th-century dictators,” Zelenskiy is playing “heroic,” they said.

The European Parliament also called on EU leaders to get tougher on oligarchs and officials close to Putin, limit oil and gas imports from Russia, and ban Russia and its ally Belarus from the system altogether. SWIFT bank messaging and closing all EU ports to Russian ships or ships going to or from Russia.

However, EU lawmakers rejected an amendment calling Russia a “rogue state”.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” aimed at ridding the country of leaders it calls “neo-fascists and drug addicts”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine had the effect of uniting countries against Russia.

“If Putin is seeking to divide the European Union, weaken NATO, and disrupt the international community, he has achieved the exact opposite,” von der Leyen told the EU Parliament, a blue and yellow ribbons pinned to her coat.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Bart Meijer, Jan Strupczewski; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Gareth Jones) Ukraine’s Zelenskiy tells EU: ‘Prove that you’re with us’

Bobby Allyn

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