During his working visit, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk delivered a speech at the Summit of the Speakers of the Parliaments of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine – ‘The Role of Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine in Strengthening Security in Europe’.

First of all, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine expressed his gratitude to his fellow speakers, and in their persons – to the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland for their comprehensive support of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in the face of a full-scale russian invasion.

“Our cooperation and interaction is more than a strategic partnership. It is a symbol of the strong and long-standing ties that unite our peoples. It is a testimony to the belief that together we can overcome even the most difficult challenges,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, noting that moving forward, we must continue to remain united, supporting each other in our common pursuit of a just peace, stability and development.

At the same time, Ruslan Stefanchuk stressed that russian troops continue to exert pressure along the entire frontline, especially in the north of Kharkiv region: “They are not able to capture Kharkiv, but due to the city’s proximity to the russian border, they are able to carry out daily missile and bomb attacks.”

“Kharkiv is critical for the defence of Ukraine, so ensuring the protection of the city, in particular by strengthening air defence, is one of the top priorities,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, adding that effective defence of Kharkiv and countering russian offensive operations are impossible without hitting the aggressor group’s concentration and logistics sites located in russia: “The enemy has the opportunity to attack with impunity across the state border, which russia uses not only in Kharkiv region, but also in Sumy and Chernihiv regions.”

Ruslan Stefanchuk stressed that for effective defence, it is crucial to lift any ban on the use of Western weapons on russian territory.

He expressed his gratitude for the principled position of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on lifting any restrictions on strikes on russian territory: “Ukraine should be able to defend itself adequately and proportionately.”

In addition, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said that work is underway to achieve complex but responsible political decisions that will not only be a logical step towards peace, but also a practical manifestation of humanism.

“The issue of closing the skies over the western regions of Ukraine remains extremely important. More active involvement of partners in strengthening Ukraine is an investment in continental security and bringing peace to Eastern Europe,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, noting that Ukraine also needs a rapid supply of air defence and electronic warfare systems, ammunition, armoured vehicles, drones and anti-drone systems, long-range missiles and shells: “Ukraine needs anti-aircraft missile systems and anti-aircraft installations, as well as missiles and ammunition. We are waiting for the first arrivals of F-16 aircraft”. He also thanked for joining the Czech initiative to finance the purchase of artillery shells for Ukraine.

“As of 1 June 2024, Ukraine has signed 15 agreements on security cooperation – and we expect to sign security agreements with Estonia, Lithuania and Poland in the near future,” the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine stressed, noting that security agreements guarantee long-term support for Ukraine and provide mandatory mechanisms for responding to crisis situations: “Our strategic course remains unchanged – full membership in NATO. Until we join the Alliance, these security commitments will act as a reliable protection for Ukraine.”

At the same time, Ruslan Stefanchuk stressed that another way to counter russia is to use frozen russian assets to support and rebuild Ukraine.

He noted that Ukraine needs the primacy of friends and partners, Poland and the Baltic states, saying that Estonia has recently demonstrated leadership in this area, in particular in developing a national compensation mechanism. On 15 May 2024, Estonian parliamentarians adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and Other Related Laws.

In his speech, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed his belief that Estonia's adoption of this Law has set a precedent in the EU for the use of russian assets for the urgent needs of Ukraine: “I hope that the supreme legislative bodies of your countries will follow the example of the Estonian Parliament, and similar laws will work in your countries for the benefit of Ukraine’s reconstruction.”

“Only together, only through joint actions and decisions can we ensure peace and security in our region. Together, we are getting stronger in our quest for peace, security and justice. Together, we will definitely win,” the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine concluded.

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