by Denise Grech
Europe will continue to stand with Ukraine, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said, as she addressed MEPs in Strasbourg.
Speaking before Verkhovna Rada chairman Ruslan Stefanchouk, Metsola said that what Ukraine has had to endure was unthinkable a few months ago. “However, 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,” she said.
“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,” she added.
She insisted that the European Parliament will not lose momentum or focus. “We cannot turn away and allow war fatigue to set in,” Metsola said, adding that the European Parliament will continue to support Ukraine 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,” she added. The European Parliament will also continue actively supporting Ukraine as it applies for EU candidate status, she added. “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,” she said.
“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,” she added.
Addressing the house, Stefanchuk outlined how the initial Russian assault on Ukraine had shocked his country and the entire world, but that Ukrainians had quickly realised what they needed to do: unite against the aggressor. Praising President Metsola for being one of the first European leaders to visit Ukraine following the outbreak of the war, he also thanked European countries for their response to the Russian aggression, for welcoming Ukrainian refugees, and for standing with the people of Ukraine in these dark times. At the same time, he raised the prospect of more action in the event of the war continuing, including further EU sanctions, even as they start to negatively impact European economies. “Because the price for defeat will be way bigger,” he said.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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