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"Prove You Are With Us" - Ukraine's President Addresses European Parliament

Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

03:28 1 Mar 2022

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Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskyy has told the European Parliament his country is fighting for its freedom.

He's been speaking at a special debate on the EU's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yesterday, Ukraine formally signed a request for membership of the EU.

The request has been received by the European Council and is being analysed.

The Taoiseach has previously said he would support fast-tracking, but admitted is unlikely to happen.

Speaking via videolink and through a translator President Zelenskyy said nobody will break the country:

"We are fighting just for our land and for our freedom."

"Despite the fact that all the citizens of our country are now blocked, nobody is going to enter and intervene with our freedom and country."

Refugee Support

Explosions are continuing to hit cities including Kharkiv, in the east of Ukraine.

At least ten people have been killed in a rocket strike in the area.

Around 660,000 people are now believed to have fled Ukraine since the conflict broke out.

The UN's warned the situation could become Europe's biggest refugee crisis this century.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney says Ireland could take in around 20-thousand Ukrainian refugees.

He says people may be asked to house them in their own homes:

"This is a war effort so the norms need to be set aside," the Minister said.

Prove It

President Zelenskyy spoke via video link to the Parliament, in what he said was a 'small break' between missile strikes.

He said his people were fighting also to be equal members of Europe.

"I believe today we're showing everybody that's exactly what we are."

"The European Union is going to be much stronger with us, that's for sure."

"Without you Ukraine is going to be lonesome."

"We have proven our strength, we have proven that as a minimum we're exactly the same as you are."

"Do prove you are with us."

"Do prove that you will not let us go."

"Do prove that you indeed are Europeans and then life will win over death."

"Light will win over darkness."

"Glory be to Ukraine."

No Doubt

The President of the European Commission says she has no doubt that Ukraine belongs in the EU.

Ursula Von Der Leyen says citizens in Ukraine show they stand for European values

"I am sure nobody here can doubt that the people who stand up so bravely for our European values belongs in our family."

"Therefore, honourable members, long live Europe and long live a free and independent Ukraine."

President Higgins

The President of Ireland has called on Vladimir Putin to end the violence.

Michael D Higgins says full humanitarian access must be given to citizens of Ukraine who are in need.

"Our television screens carry images of all those mothers and babies crossing borders in order to flee the mayhem which is being inflicted upon them by an invading powerful neighbour operating with total disregard for the principles of international law, and of those brave Ukrainian people struggling to defend their homes and country."

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