Ukraine and the European Union have already achieved significant historical results in historic rapprochement. We are working to achieve much more,” Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said at a conference in Kiev. In his opinion, “this year we should reach the beginning of talks on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.” However, during a speech broadcast in Davos, he spoke about punishing Russia for war crimes in Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met on Thursday in Kiev with the President of the European Council Charles Michel. – I have informed the President what decisions she has taken Ukraine and what are our progress. I will note that already this year we should reach the beginning of talks on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. This is our goal, there are necessary conditions for it. We have great motivation and desire. We are moving forward,” Zelensky said at a joint conference with Michel.
The president assessed that there had been a “historical rapprochement” between Ukraine and the EU and expressed his conviction that his country would soon belong to the Community.
– Ukraine and European Union they have already achieved significant historic results in historical rapprochement. We are working to achieve much more. Our goal is full membership of Ukraine in the European Union. I am confident that we will achieve this goal,” he continued.
Zelensky on tank deliveries. “It does not depend on the wishes of Ukraine”
The Ukrainian president also spoke about expectations regarding the supply of tanks. As he stressed, they are necessary for the armed forces of his country to be able to face the Russian aggressor.
– This issue depends on many things, but unfortunately it does not depend on the wishes of Ukraine. We exert political pressure as much as we can and we argue accordingly. Against thousands of tanks of the Russian Federation, the heroism of our soldiers and the motivation of the Ukrainian people are not enough. We need the right weapons, he stressed.
He said that many EU countries are ready to donate tanks to Ukraine, including Poland, Finland, Portugal and Spain. – We are still waiting for the consent of the state that has the rights to these licenses – he said.
Head of the European Council: Tanks and appropriate armaments should be handed over
Michel stated that in the case of tanks for Ukraine, speed matters. – I said yesterday in the European Parliament that tanks and appropriate armaments should be handed over. The sooner the better, he said.
The President of the European Council announced that consultations on a “possible tenth package of sanctions” against Russia had begun. – We have decided that these sanctions will be aimed primarily at the energy sector – he said.
After the talks with Zelensky, the head of the European Council met in the capital of Ukraine with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and gave a speech in the parliament. He also paid a visit to the rehabilitation center for war veterans.
Zelensky: Russia as a state must bear responsibility
In addition to the Kiev conference, Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke on Thursday at the Russian War Crimes exhibition in Davos, where the annual International Economic Forum is taking place. In his speech, he said: “we must restore justice, we can restore justice.”
We must punish evil. This terrorist war of Russia against Ukraine should become the last war. Never again should any state embark on such a path of terror. Revenge will not ensure that, so justice is needed, Zelensky said.
He stressed that Russia as a state chose “the path of a terrorist, an executioner, a murderer, a plunderer.” “Therefore, as a state, it must bear responsibility,” he stressed.
– The massiveness of Russian crimes on Ukrainian soil leaves no doubt – it was the intention of the Russian authorities, the conditions of the invasion to which they agreed. All terror, killings, torture, looting. The executioners came to our lands after the Russian troops, he continued. As he said, “people are electrocuted, raped, shot, starved to death, left without water and without sleep.”
– International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to punish Russian war criminals. The international tribunal for the Russian crime of aggression against Ukraine will have jurisdiction to hold accountable representatives of the highest authorities of Russian politics and the army, he assessed. He also talked about a special compensation mechanism, which should be financed from the assets of Russia and people associated with it.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO