First of all, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine expressed his gratitude to the President of the National Assembly of the French Republic Yaël Braun-Pivet and the French delegation for their three-day visit to Ukraine: “For us, for parliamentarians, for Ukrainians, the visit of our French friends is an act of courage and solidarity.” Ruslan Stefanchuk noted that a large delegation of the French National Assembly and Ukrainian MPs also arrived in Odesa. “This shows that we are approaching many issues in cooperation between our parliaments very seriously,” he stressed.

In particular, during the visit of the heads of the Ukrainian and French parliaments, there were a lot of air raid alerts as a result of the missile attacks by the russian federation, both in Kyiv and Odesa. “This is the reality you had the opportunity to see in Ukraine. Based on the results of this three-day visit, I would like to ask you to help us protect the sky over Odesa and Odesa residents,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk. He noted that, given the historical ties between France and Odesa, and given that this is a war against civilians, France's assistance and decisions are primarily about “protecting these people, with whom we are in another bomb shelter together.”

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also expressed his gratitude to Yaël Braun-Pivet for the decisions taken and the leadership demonstrated in support of Ukraine at the level of the French National Assembly – for “a huge number of resolutions in support of Ukraine and condemnation of the russian federation”: the recognition of the wagner pmc as a terrorist organisation and the recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. “Today, the most important decision for us is the one aimed at protecting the civilian population of Ukraine,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk.

“France is a country that is doing everything possible for Ukraine to win this war,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, adding that the support that exists between the parliaments of Ukraine and France is the best evidence that everything will work out. 

For her part, the President of the National Assembly of the French Republic, Yaël Braun-Pivet, stressed that from the first day of russian aggression and invasion, France has stood by Ukraine's side, providing strong support both bilaterally and within the European Union: “This support from France has different dimensions and forms, in particular, today France hosts more than a hundred thousand Ukrainians in communities.”

“This support, of course, is provided in the diplomatic sphere, which is very powerful. It is manifested in the economic sanctions imposed against russia, which are not weakening, but rather are being added to this mechanism,” said Yaël Braun-Pivet, adding that this support also has a military dimension.

During their joint working visit to Odesa, the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk and the President of the National Assembly of the French Republic visited the city's seaport, met with the Ukrainian military, and talked to the city and regional authorities.

“The seaport in Odesa is a place that has been repeatedly attacked by enemy missiles and drones,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine during his visit to the port. The parties learned more about the functioning of the grain corridor.

At the same time, they discussed in detail the routes of civilian vessels to and from the Black Sea ports, as well as the challenges and dangers they face. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed the importance of restoring port infrastructure and protecting it from systemic attacks by russia.

“It is important that our partners, including France, understand the importance of grain corridors to ensure food security,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk.

In addition, as part of their visit to Odesa, the representatives of Ukraine and France met with the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy Oleksii Neizhpapa.

“Over the seven months of the Ukrainian corridor's operation, the active actions of the Defence Forces have almost doubled exports from Ukrainian ports compared to 2022, when the grain initiative with russia's participation was in effect,” the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed. He also noted that it is the Ukrainian Navy that ensures the safety of cargo movement from Ukrainian ports. The parties paid considerable attention to this area.

During the meeting, they also discussed the operational situation in the Black Sea and the needs of our Navy. In particular, they focused on what is needed to strengthen Ukraine's capabilities.

“France is a member of the Maritime Coalition in support of Ukraine, whose main goal is to ensure the development of the necessary capabilities of the Navy,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk.

Finally, during the meeting with the city and regional authorities, the parties focused on the security situation.

First of all, they discussed the consequences of shelling by the russian federation, the destruction of critical energy and port infrastructure. They also focused on the needs of the city, such as air defence systems, electronic warfare equipment and long-range missiles.

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