All of Europe owes you a great debt of gratitude for everything you have done since the beginning of this cruel war, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said today in a speech to the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv. “You are fighting not only for your freedom, democracy and future, but also for ours. You are fighting for Europe,” she said, then thanked the Ukrainian.
A video of von der Leyen’s speech was distributed by a special envoy of the European Newsroom to its member news agencies, including BTA.
The Chairperson of the EC acknowledged the “incredible legislative work” that the Ukrainian parliament had donewhile Ukraine is “waging an existential war”.
She said the punitive measures in the 12th sanctions package against Russia, to be announced next week, would include a list of up to 100 individuals, new import and export bans, a tightening of the ceiling on oil prices and tough measures against companies from third parties that circumvent sanctions.
“For too long, many in Europe thought we could trade with Russia and integrate it into European security, but that hasn’t worked. And it won’t work as long as Russia’s actions are driven by delusional dreams of empire,” she said.
“The people of Ukraine do not need to learn to be European. You are Europeans,” Von der Leyen said to the thunderous applause of the Rada deputies.
She congratulated the Ukrainian institutions for their work on the EC’s recommendations for Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the European Union. Von der Leyen called “incredible and amazing” reforms made by Ukraine and gave examples of constitutional justice reform, the anti-corruption agenda, progress in the fight against money laundering and progress on the issue of minority rights.