Dear Madam Speaker!
Dear Madam Prime Minister!
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to address the members of the French National Assembly, in the heart of your country’s political life.
It is important for us that our friends and partners hear Ukrainians. And see Ukraine as you have seen it, dear Yael. I remember your visit to Kyiv in detail. And then there was our joint train trip to Chernihiv. It was a brave act!
I will never forget how long you held the palms of an elderly woman who survived a rocket attack on a residential building. You saw the scale of the destruction with your own eyes, felt the pain and grief of Ukrainians.
Your visit was a clear indication of the solidarity of the French Republic with Ukraine, a manifestation of support for our independence and territorial integrity – the principles that unite us.
We are also united by the bridges that fraternal France has given to Chernihiv region. They have further strengthened the bridges of humanitarian aid that have connected Ukraine and France since the first days of russian aggression. And the bridges of military and technical support provide Ukraine with much-needed weapons, equipment and supplies. We will definitely build other bridges that will bind our countries even more closely.
russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine has been going on for almost a year now.
We, like no one else, are well aware that the sole purpose of the aggression is russia's criminal desire to seize foreign territories, deprive Ukraine of its sovereignty, and make our European and Euro-Atlantic future impossible.
russia is using its entire arsenal against us, blackmailing the world with threats to use weapons of mass destruction.
This morning I had a unique opportunity to hold in my hands rare artifacts from your parliamentary library: Johannes Blaeu’s “Grand Atlas”, whose maps depict Chersonesos Tavriya, as well as a unique book of 1660 by the great French engineer, traveler, cartographer and writer Guillaume Le Vasser de Beauplan, “Description of Ukraine”. It contains the following words about “the noble people who are now called the Zaporozhian Cossacks.” “They are witty, clever, inventive and generous, not seeking great wealth, but extremely fond of their freedom, without which they cannot imagine their lives.”
And more than 360 years later, Ukraine is resisting, fighting, because it still cannot imagine its life without freedom.
The aggressor responds to our resistance with attacks on peaceful cities, villages and critical infrastructure, leaving people without electricity, heating and water. The aggressor seeks to deprive Ukrainians of their livelihood.
The cynical moscow propaganda machine continues to produce lies and fakes, misleading both its own citizens and those in the world who still believe them. In fact, it is an accomplice to an international crime that must be condemned and its participants punished.
This is how terrorists act, how a terrorist regime acts, how a terrorist state acts. This aggressive and irresponsible policy is a threat to freedom and democracy. It must receive a strong legal assessment from the international community.
On November 23 last year, the European Parliament recognized russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism that uses terrorist means.” Similar decisions were previously made by the NATO and Council of Europe parliamentary assemblies.
In this regard, I urge you, dear colleagues, to recognize russia as a terrorist state within the walls of your “temple of law and freedom.” Many important, often fateful, decisions were made within these walls. These include the resolution adopted on November 30 last year in support of Ukraine, which condemned the russian invasion. What was important was that it supported the idea of establishing a special tribunal. And it is this tribunal that should identify all the criminals by name: from the ideologues of the senseless invasion to those who gave orders, killed, raped, and maimed.
No one should escape punishment, because that is what justice is all about.
I thank the people of France, its President, Government, all of you for all the help that is being provided to Ukraine, all the assistance that has been provided to Ukraine since the russian full-scale invasion. First of all, for the military assistance. Your decisions to strengthen Ukraine with advanced air defense systems, to provide tanks and armored personnel carriers have given impetus to other countries to take similar steps.
France has always been, is and will be a leader!
Thanks to you, new words have entered the Ukrainian lexicon. Now we know very well what Crotale, Caesar, LRU, AMX-10RC are. And we are ready to enrich our vocabulary with new words. We want to see French Leclerc among Leopards, Abrams and Challengers to strengthen us on land. And Mirage and Rafale, which, together with other allied aircraft, will protect the Ukrainian sky!
Give us airplanes! Give us the wings of our victory! Wings with which we will cover Ukraine and protect the whole of Europe!
Give us airplanes! Give us the wings of our victory! The wings with which we will close Ukraine and protect the whole of Europe!
Dear members of the National Assembly!
The highest value is a human being. I thank the French people, those French families who have sheltered Ukrainians. I thank you on behalf of each of the hundred thousand of my compatriots who have been given asylum in France.
You have given Ukrainian children the opportunity to continue their education at schools, provided Ukrainians with high standards of social protection, and created employment opportunities. We will never forget that you treated our citizens as your own, as members of your own family: French and European!
Ukraine is returning to its European roots, despite moscow’s fierce resistance. We are sincerely grateful to France for its leadership role in granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union. The Ukrainian people, who are paying an exorbitant price today, will surely flourish in the family of free European nations.
We are working effectively to adopt the relevant laws and implement the necessary reforms. We know what we have to do and how to do it. And we are moving as fast as possible, even in a time of war.
In this regard, I would like to emphasize that the President of Ukraine, the Parliament and the Government have consistently demonstrated zero tolerance for corruption and are fighting to eradicate this phenomenon. In the last few days alone, there have been landmark dismissals and detentions of high-level corrupt officials who will be brought to justice.
Ukraine will complete the implementation of all seven steps outlined by the European Commission as soon as possible. I hope that this will allow us to open negotiations on accession to the EU this year.
We also hope that France will provide political support to Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO in the context of the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, 2023.
We have proven through our struggle that we can and must become members of the North Atlantic Alliance!
Dear National Assembly!
We often recall history, looking for explanations for what is happening to us today. I would also like to mention in your authoritative circle one historical phenomenon that we call the Holodomor, and which was thoroughly written about by the French historian Laurent Rucker. As a result of the genocidal actions of the Stalinist regime, through artificially organized and deliberate famine, millions of Ukrainians died in 1932-1933.
Right now, a signal from France to recognize the Holodomor would be very important, as the events of 1932-33 confirm the determination of Stalin’s and now putin’s russia to destroy the Ukrainian identity.
I am asking you to assist in the legislative recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
This war will definitely end in our common victory, I am sure. And after this victory, there will come a period of reconstruction and renewal. We hope that France – your government and business – will actively contribute to the development and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.
Today I am addressing you on behalf of Ukrainians who are fighting and giving their lives for freedom and dignity. I am speaking on behalf of Ukrainian citizens who are helping the army these days, continuing to work and study with faith in victory and peaceful life. We want to live in a peaceful democratic society that is not threatened by anyone. That is why we offer a formula for peace!
At the G20 summit, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi presented to world leaders a plan to end the war – our 10-point peace formula. We see France as a powerful force that will show leadership and help implement it together. It is with the help of France and other allies and partners that we want to fix the key elements of the post-war security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic area, including guarantees for Ukraine.
I count on France’s support for the implementation of President Zelenskyi’s peace formula!
Everyone in Ukraine heard the words of the President of France: “We will stand together to build a just and lasting world. Count on France, count on Europe!” We heard these words under fire, we heard them on the battlefield, and they sounded louder to us than rocket explosions or air raid sirens.
In conclusion, let me share my dream with you.
I remember 2012 and the June 15 football match between the national teams of Ukraine and France in Donetsk at the Donbass Arena. That match was interrupted by a thunderstorm. In less than two years, russian aggression and occupation interrupted our peaceful life. The war came to us and brought death and destruction.
I really want us to win this match of life versus death together, and for our national teams to play again in liberated Donetsk at the Donbass Arena.
It will be a match of our common victory. It will be a match of peace and memory. It will be a match of a new life.
Thank you for your attention!
Glory to Ukraine and Vive la France!