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‘Show that you’re with us,’ Ukraine’s Zelenskiy tells EU


BRUSSELS  —  “Show that you’re with us,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy advised the European Union on Tuesday, a day after Kyiv formally requested to affix the bloc because it battles invading Russian forces.

EU lawmakers, many carrying #standwithUkraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, others with blue-and-yellow scarves or ribbons, gave Zelenskiy a standing ovation as he addressed the European Parliament through video hyperlink.

“We’re preventing to be equal members of Europe,” Zelenskiy mentioned in Ukrainian in a speech translated into English by an interpreter who spoke by way of tears.

“Do show that you’re with us. Do show that you’ll not allow us to go. Do show that you’re certainly Europeans, after which life will win over demise and light-weight will win over darkness,” he mentioned. “The EU shall be a lot stronger with us.”

Zelenskiy has remained in Kyiv to rally his folks towards the invasion. As he spoke to EU lawmakers and prime officers, a Russian armored column was bearing down on Ukraine’s capital.

“We’re (with you),” European Fee vice-president Maros Sefcovic mentioned in response to Zelenskiy’s enchantment, saying the EU would supply Ukraine with weapons, on prime of slapping unprecedented sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine final week.

“And we shall be with you to rebuild your stunning nation after your victory,” he mentioned.

A European Parliament member holds a placard at a particular session to debate its response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium March 1, 2022. (REUTERS/Yves Herman)

Laborious to affix EU

The presidents of eight central and japanese European nations on Monday revealed an open letter calling for Ukraine to be granted fast EU candidate standing and for the beginning of formal membership talks.

Ukraine is properly conscious, nevertheless, that any membership course of shall be lengthy and tough, even when it manages after the struggle to keep away from falling again below Moscow’s domination.

Charles Michel, the chairman of EU leaders, advised the EU Parliament after Zelenskiy’s speech that the bloc must significantly have a look at Ukraine’s “reliable” request to affix.

However he added: “It will be tough, we all know there are completely different views in Europe (about additional enlargements).”

The European Parliament adopted a non-binding decision – by 637 votes to 13, with 26 abstentions – calling for more durable sanctions “geared toward strategically weakening the Russian economic system and industrial base, particularly, the military-industrial advanced”.

Whereas Russian President Vladimir Putin “remembers probably the most dreadful statements of Twentieth-century dictators”, Zelenskiy is being “heroic,” they mentioned.

The European Parliament additionally urged EU leaders to be more durable on oligarchs and officers near Putin, limit oil and gasoline imports from Russia, ban Russia and its ally Belarus solely from the SWIFT financial institution messaging system, and shut all EU ports to Russian ships or ships headed to or from Russia.

Nonetheless, EU lawmakers rejected an modification calling Russia a “rogue state.”

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “particular navy operation” geared toward ridding the nation of leaders it characterizes as “neo-Nazis and drug addicts”.

European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen mentioned Putin’s choice to invade Ukraine had had the impact of uniting nations towards Russia.

“If Putin was in search of to divide the European Union, to weaken NATO, and to interrupt the worldwide neighborhood, he has achieved precisely the other,” von der Leyen advised the EU Parliament, a blue and yellow ribbon pinned to her jacket.

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