Watch: 'Prove that you're with us,' Ukraine's Zelenskyy tells MEPs

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By Euronews
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses MEPs from Kyiv
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses MEPs from Kyiv   -   Copyright  Credit: AP   -  

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has given an emotional speech to MEPs from Kyiv calling for his country to join the European Union.

Appearing over video link as the Russian army continues its assault, Zelenskyy called on Europe to prove that it supported his country by allowing it to join the EU.

"We are fighting for our rights, for our freedoms and now we’re fighting for survival. We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe," Zelenskyy said.

"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. Glory be to Ukraine."

Zelenskyy was speaking just days after European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told Euronews that Ukraine "is one of us and we want them in the European Union".

It came as Brussels announced that it was sending weapons to the country, banning Russian-backed media and blocking Russian planes from European air space.

But although Zelenskyy has called for immediate recognition, the process of accession could take some time. In the case of other nations, including Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, it has taken years.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said there were "different opinions and sensitivities" among EU members on Kyiv's accession.

"Membership is a long-standing request from Ukraine," said Michel. "But there are different opinions and sensitivities within the EU on enlargement.

"Ukraine will submit an official request, the European Commission will have to express an official opinion and the Council will decide."

Zelenskyy speech came amid an extraordinary session at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

During the debate, MEPs will vote on a resolution condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

They will also vote on a resolution to move towards granting EU candidate country status to Ukraine.