The Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk started his working visit to the French Republic with a meeting in Strasbourg with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Theodoros Rousopoulos.

First of all, Ruslan Stefanchuk expressed his gratitude to the Parliamentary Assembly for supporting Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and the relevant decisions taken within PACE.

The parties discussed a number of issues, primarily the security situation in Ukraine. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed that Ukraine needs weapons, calling for assistance in strengthening Ukraine's defence capabilities. Ruslan Stefanchuk appealed to the PACE President, despite the fact that security issues are beyond his mandate, to help strengthen the defence capabilities of Ukrainian defenders by influencing relevant decisions.

“In addition to its own production, russia receives artillery shells and ballistic missiles from North Korea in addition to drones from Iran. russia continues to terrorise civilians: Kharkiv, Sumy, Odesa, Kyiv – there is no city where the russians have not used massive combined attacks. To defend itself, Ukraine must have a commensurate amount of weapons, including air defence systems,” he said.

In addition, the focus is on the Register of Damages for Ukraine as the first step towards the creation of a comprehensive International Compensation Mechanism

“The opening of the satellite office of the Register of Damages in Kyiv is very important in this regard. The next steps are also important, in particular, the establishment of a Compensation Commission to review applications and a Compensation Fund,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk.

The parties also discussed the need to bring the russian political and military leadership to justice for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed hope that PACE would once again support the establishment of a special tribunal, in particular by adopting a resolution during the third part of the Assembly's session.

Finally, the parties raised the important issue of the return of Ukrainian children illegally deported by russia. For his part, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine noted the importance of the PACE initiative to establish a Network on the Situation of Children in Ukraine as part of the implementation of the resolution adopted by the Assembly.

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