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Ukraine's Zelenskiy tells EU: 'Prove that you are with us'

WorldMar 01, 2022 11:43AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a video address where he urges the West to consider imposing a no-fly zone for Russian missiles, planes and helicopters, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 28, 2022 in this s 2/2

By Philip Blenkinsop and Ingrid Melander

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -"Prove that you are with us," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the European Union on Tuesday, a day after Kyiv officially asked to join the bloc as it battles invading Russian forces.

EU lawmakers, many wearing #standwithUkraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, others with blue-and-yellow scarves or ribbons, gave Zelenskiy a standing ovation as he addressed the European Parliament via video link.

"We are fighting to be equal members of Europe," Zelenskiy said in Ukrainian in a speech translated into English by an interpreter who spoke through tears.

"Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans, and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness," he said. "The EU will be much stronger with us."

Zelenskiy has remained in Kyiv to rally his people against the invasion. As he spoke to EU lawmakers and top officials, a Russian armoured column was bearing down on Ukraine's capital.

"We are (with you)," European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said in response to Zelenskiy's appeal, saying the EU would provide Ukraine with weapons, on top of slapping unprecedented sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine last week.

"And we will be with you to rebuild your beautiful country after your victory," he said.

HARD TO JOIN EU

The presidents of eight central and eastern European nations on Monday published an open letter calling for Ukraine to be granted immediate EU candidate status and for the start of formal membership talks.

Ukraine is well aware, however, that any membership process will be long and difficult, even if it manages after the war to avoid falling back under Moscow's domination.

Charles Michel, the chairman of EU leaders, told the EU Parliament after Zelenskiy's speech that the bloc would have to seriously look at Ukraine's "legitimate" request to join.

But he added: "It is going to be difficult, we know there are different views in Europe (about further enlargements)."

The European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution - by 637 votes to 13, with 26 abstentions - calling for tougher sanctions "aimed at strategically weakening the Russian economy and industrial base, in particular the military-industrial complex".

While Russian President Vladimir Putin "recalls the most dreadful statements of 20th century dictators", Zelenskiy is being "heroic", they said.

The European Parliament also urged EU leaders to be tougher on oligarchs and officials close to Putin, restrict oil and gas imports from Russia, ban Russia and its ally Belarus entirely from the SWIFT bank messaging system, and to close all EU ports to Russian ships or ships headed to or from Russia.

However, EU lawmakers rejected an amendment calling Russia a "rogue state".

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation" aimed at ridding the country of leaders it characterises as "neo-Nazis and drug addicts".

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Putin's decision to invade Ukraine had had the effect of uniting countries against Russia.

"If Putin was seeking to divide the European Union, to weaken NATO, and to break the international community, he has achieved exactly the opposite," von der Leyen told the EU Parliament, a blue and yellow ribbon pinned to her jacket.

Ukraine's Zelenskiy tells EU: 'Prove that you are with us'
 

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Comments (7)
Holden McGroin
Holden McGroin Mar 01, 2022 12:05PM ET
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the world ends in the hands of an actor
Petet Larkar
Petet Larkar Mar 01, 2022 12:05PM ET
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bot
simple jam
simple jam Mar 01, 2022 10:41AM ET
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Biden did a good job
William Smith
William Smith Mar 01, 2022 10:41AM ET
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Actually Biden did a great job. A great job at being weak and giving Putin the confidence to invade that is.
simple jam
simple jam Mar 01, 2022 10:41AM ET
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William Smith  Anyway participation is not a good idea
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Mar 01, 2022 10:41AM ET
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It's Biden's fault. It's America's fault. It's Europe's fault. It's Ukraine's fault. Some people go to great lengths to protect the guilty.
John Leese
John Leese Mar 01, 2022 10:31AM ET
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EU is another non functional body that say it stand with Ukraine but won’t allow it to join it as a member state. Bureaucracy at its finest. Corruption is rampant in the EU. Not an excuse to exclude Ukraine. Get a pair of ***
John Doe
ForexInsiders Mar 01, 2022 8:40AM ET
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We are repeating the exact same mistakes today as world governments, as we did when Germany invaded Poland. Same exact response, same sanctionary response, same ridiculous expectations that this will bring better results. But hey, that's the Great Reset for you.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Mar 01, 2022 8:40AM ET
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Your perspective is ignorant of history. Poland was invaded by Germany AND the Soviet Union and the world stood by. The world is not just standing by this time.
Mark Wagner
Mark Wagner Mar 01, 2022 8:40AM ET
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Your statement is completely wrong. When Germany attacked Poland, England and France declared war on Germany. There actions limited because of the horrendous losses they remembered from WW1. But they did not stand by.  Is that what you mean by standing by? Not declaring war?
Shep De
Shep De Mar 01, 2022 8:35AM ET
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At this point--hours from a full-scale invasion thru Ukraine after Russian tanks' 40 mile convoy taking, my guess, the Maragod & Vasylki air bases to the south & east of Kharkhiv, will be establishing air presence, which will quickly end war, with ONE million plus Ukrainane civilian casualties (mostly women & children) plus close to one million men age 18 to 60 fighting for their country's life, and, their own. So Ukraine joining European Union, at this point, is a good start but it's not enough, is it? Certainly worth a try, but w/ death barreling down the highway toward Kharkhiv, then, Vasilyiko and Mraragod airbases there. is. not. much. time, Olaf, Johnson, EU, Biden, prsy for decisions, He our creator,, listens, amen
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Mar 01, 2022 7:33AM ET
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Putin is a disaster for humanity
Bilal Henki
Bilal Henki Mar 01, 2022 7:33AM ET
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Yes! He is right up there with George Bush.
Bilal Henki
Bilal Henki Mar 01, 2022 7:33AM ET
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Yes! He is right up there with George Bush.
William Smith
William Smith Mar 01, 2022 7:33AM ET
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Bilal, and Biden.
jason xx
jason xx Mar 01, 2022 5:56AM ET
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Words words words it's time for the Western world to act. We are looking softer then Neville Chamberlain
M M
M M Mar 01, 2022 5:56AM ET
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Want to get nuked? Vlad can make it happen. Better back off from Russia's borders and leave the Eastern Europe alone. They can handle their own business without American puppeteers.
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Mar 01, 2022 5:56AM ET
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M M well u are right !
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Mar 01, 2022 5:56AM ET
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The Ukrainian people were exercising their right, as a free society, to self determination. Unfortunately, that is an unfamiliar concept to too many people in the world.
 
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