Dear Mr. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine! Dear Members of Parliament! Dear Ukrainian friends!

I apologize for speaking in Latvian from now on, but I am very nervous, and I will not even hide it. Today, together with the delegation, I am here to express solidarity with the heroic people of Ukraine and to reaffirm our strong and unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty. My heart breaks as I realize the terrible loss of your loved ones, the tears and pain of Ukrainian mothers and wives. These tears are now writing the history of the fighting spirit and love for the Motherland of the heroic Ukrainian people and, at the same time, the bloody cruelty of russia. These will be extremely sad pages of history that will make our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren respect and bow their heads to the Ukrainian people, and realize the true face of russia.

The people of Latvia feel a strong connection with the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people for their freedom. We are aware of russia's brutal aggression because the Latvian people have historically also experienced russian atrocities on their territory. Torture, rape, extermination, forced deportation of civilians – it all happened. We see, understand and feel the Ukrainian people with all our hearts and souls.

russian imperialism is still alive, destroying, uprooting and killing innocent citizens who love their native land – Ukraine. russia is trying to destroy the existing and law-based international order and return to the model of dividing the world by great powers, where the rule of brutal force would prevail, rather than the rule of law. Through criminal aggression, atrocities and cruelty, russia wants to deny the freedom of the Ukrainian people and deprive Ukrainians of their native land.

The strength of Ukraine's struggle on the battlefield and your work here in the Parliament is proof of the resilience and invincibility of the Ukrainian state in the face of cowardly russian aggression.

Latvia is and will be with Ukraine until russian aggression is eradicated from the entire territory of Ukraine.

We clearly realize that Ukraine's victory is the only way to restore security in Europe. Latvia's total support for Ukraine in the two years since the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion exceeds 600 million euros. A few days ago, during the President Volodymyr Zelenskyi's visit to Latvia, we announced another batch of military support, including 155 mm artillery ammunition, howitzers, anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and drones. We will continue to provide training for your military.

We recognize that together we must realize even faster deliveries of military aid to the frontline. Not by gradually increasing military supplies, as if looking for a tipping point with the least investment, but by immediately providing Ukraine's defenders with everything they need to win as quickly as possible.  

Within the Ramstein format, Latvia has committed itself to leading the drone coalition, where, in cooperation with Ukraine and allies, we want to significantly increase the overall drone production capacity, making the most of Ukraine's previous military experience to improve the efficiency of drones. We will continue our military support to help ensure Ukraine's victory is achieved sooner rather than later. We will never get tired...  

We also see Ukraine joining the family of free European countries soon. The European Council's decision to start negotiations with Ukraine on accession is not just a symbolic step. It is a decision that will change Ukraine and change Europe. The powerful wave of your heroism is reverberating far beyond Ukraine. It has made us all reassess that freedom and democracy must be defended every day, every moment, and every hour.

Similarly, the powerful wave of Ukraine's recovery from the war will further strengthen Europe militarily and economically. We will stand with you on this journey. In addition to all the assistance that Latvia has already provided and continues to provide, this year Saeima will launch a new training and experience transfer program specifically for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Your accession negotiations, like those of Latvia and other countries, will not be without difficulties and obstacles, and our goal is to reduce them and help you. Our ambition is to make your path to negotiations easier than ours was.

In the post-war European security architecture, one of the most important elements of Ukraine's and Europe's security is Ukraine's membership in NATO. This is the only way to guarantee Ukraine's long-term security and significantly strengthen Europe's deterrence and defense capabilities. Ukraine will no longer remain in the "gray zone" of security. Since the threat of russian aggression will not end with russia's defeat in Ukraine, the agony of the collapse of the russian empire may last for a long time, it may be destructive and bloody, so we need a comprehensive long-term approach to building the security of the free world from russian evil and atrocities.

The policy of deterring russian aggression begins with the recognition that today any influence of russian instruments works as a weapon of aggression in our countries: whether it is cyberattacks on our infrastructure, aggressive propaganda and disinformation, “do not mix sport with politics,” the very participation of the aggressor country in international sports competitions, or simply bloody russian money.

Your heroism has helped to dispel the fog of illusion in our country as well. It seems that over the past two years we have done more to get rid of the soviet legacy and imperial influence in the country than we did during the time of independence. Last week, the Saeima confiscated one of the symbols of this influence in the very center of Riga, the house of moscow.

russia, of course, has already promised a response. russia does not like such actions. Similar steps are being taken in other countries in Europe and around the world.

russian assets have already been identified and will be confiscated. And we will continue to work with our allies to ensure that they are used to rebuild Ukraine.

russian weapons of aggression can only have two paths in the future. It is to follow the "house of Moscow" or to follow the "russian warship".

Dear colleagues, russia's responsibility is not limited to redirecting russian assets to rebuild Ukraine's infrastructure. We will continue to work tirelessly to document and investigate the war crimes committed by russia on a horrific scale. We will pay special attention to the return of illegally abducted Ukrainian children.

However, in order not to create the slightest illusion for future potential dictators that history may repeat itself, it is necessary to ensure that the top leadership is fully accountable for the crimes and aggression committed. This is not a question of revenge, but an absolutely necessary step to create a powerful deterrent to future aggression through a full assessment of all crimes and the implementation of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Dear colleagues, we will support Ukraine militarily to facilitate Ukraine's quicker victory, we will support Ukraine politically to facilitate Ukraine's faster and closer integration into the European Union and NATO. We are and will remain with Ukraine as a nation and as an ally to strengthen the morale of Ukrainians.

I wish the Ukrainian people that these horrors, which arose from russia's unforgivable aggression, will become history tomorrow – history that the Ukrainian people will be able to build on on their way to a brighter future for their homeland.

The Latvian national anthem contains words of love for the homeland that every Latvian knows and holds dear to his or her heart: "God bless Latvia, because we sincerely love our homeland and are ready to do anything for it!" I know that the Ukrainian people also have such unwavering strength and love for their homeland that will undoubtedly bring you victory. So may the words "God bless Ukraine!" not only increase the strength of the Ukrainian people, but also bring peace to this beautiful land and to every Ukrainian home.

To your victory and ours. Glory to Ukraine!

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