The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko met with a delegation of deputies of the National Assembly of the French Republic – members of the France-Ukraine interparliamentary friendship group, headed by the Head of the Group Benjamin Haddad.

The event was also attended by the Ukrainian MPs – the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation Oleksandr Merezhko and Co-Chair of the Verkhovna Rada’s Group on Interparliamentary Relations with the French Republic Aliona Shkrum.

First of all, Oleksandr Korniienko noted that he was very pleased to meet his French friends in the Ukrainian Parliament not for the first time. And this, according to him, testifies to the deep friendship and cooperation between our parliaments and countries. He thanked the National Assembly for its support of important political decisions for Ukraine, such as the adoption of the Resolution on Supporting Ukraine and Condemning the War, recognising the Holodomor of the Ukrainian people as genocide, recognising the wagner group as a terrorist organisation, etc.

“I would like to take this opportunity to convey our sincere gratitude to the Senate, especially for the Resolution condemning the deportation of children. This is one of the most difficult and emotional topics of this war. After all, about 20,000 Ukrainian children are deported or have unclear status. And we are working with the international community to resolve this issue as soon as possible and bring the children back home,” said the First Vice Speaker.

In addition, Oleksandr Korniienko informed the guests about the current situation in Ukraine, in particular, about the developments at the frontline and the counter-offensive. He thanked France for its military support, without which our success on the battlefield would have been much slower, and called for increased supplies of air defence equipment to protect civilians and infrastructure, including the port.

“Thanks to the armed support of France, in particular, we get parity, and often superior firepower, which makes it possible to advance. At the same time, russia continues its air attacks. We once again call for an increase in the supply of air and missile defence systems, as these are the lives and economy of our country that are saved” the First Vice Speaker urged.

The parties also discussed cooperation in the Global South and in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie as one of the most important areas of the diplomatic strategy to promote Ukraine’s peace initiatives, in particular, the President’s Peace Formula. Oleksandr Korniienko called on France to support Ukraine’s efforts on this path, especially in the context of grain exports and protection of the grain corridor from russian attacks.

The interlocutors also touched upon the topic of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future, where France’s position is quite stable and powerful. In addition, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine welcomed France’s accession to the G7 Security Declaration in support of Ukraine.

He also expressed hope for active advocacy on the part of the French Parliament on our country’s path to the EU and support in fulfilling common tasks on the European integration track.

In particular, Oleksandr Korniienko assured his French colleagues that the Ukrainian Parliament is making great efforts to implement the European integration track as soon as possible: the Ukrainian legislation is being actively adapted to the European one, a number of laws necessary for joining the EU have been adopted, and the experience of other countries is being studied to avoid possible mistakes.

“We will act as quickly as possible to complete the legal process and start the political process,” said the First Vice Speaker.

At the end of the meeting, Oleksandr Korniienko once again expressed his gratitude to the people of France for their strong support during the war and, in particular, to the French MPs, who, in his words, Ukrainian colleagues learn “to be real parliamentarians and take a state position” from.

The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, Oleksandr Merezhko, stressed that France’s participation in the implementation of the President Zelenskyi’s Peace Formula is very important for Ukraine:

“The answer to the question of what peace should be like is contained in the President Zelenskyi’s Peace Formula. It is very simple because it is based on the UN Charter and the principles of international law. It is important for us to involve not only our allies, in particular France, but also the countries of the Global South in its discussion. And here we count on your help and support.”

Aliona Shkrum, the Member of Parliament, emphasised that France was the first country to provide us with tanks, and the President Macron was the first President to use the word “tanks”. Therefore, the parliamentarian called on her French colleagues to strengthen our support again, in particular, by providing F-16 aircraft to effectively protect our skies and peaceful cities from russian terror.

For his part, the Head of the delegation of French MPs, Benjamin Haddad, expressed the words of deep support from French people to the heroic resistance of Ukrainians.

“It was important for us to come here to convey this message to Ukrainians – a message of gratitude, solidarity and friendship at such a difficult time,” Benjamin Haddad said.

He also added that since the first days of the war, France has been standing side by side with Ukraine, providing support where it can best to help in the fight against the russian aggressor. And he assured his Ukrainian counterpart that this support will continue until Ukraine’s victory, until the restoration of its sovereignty and freedom.

The Head of the French delegation also noted that Ukraine has united the French Parliament, which was able to adopt political resolutions that are very important for Ukraine almost unanimously. He also praised the quality and effectiveness of cooperation between the two parliaments, stressing the need to intensify it and expand the dialogue with the Ukrainian Parliament, in particular through inter-parliamentary diplomacy and friendship groups.

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