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Ruslan Stefanchuk

Ukrainian parliament speaker addresses MEPs at the European Parliament

In his speech to MEPs on Wednesday, the Speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Ruslan Stefanchuk called on the EU to approve his country's application for membership.

Praising President Metsola, who was one of the first European leaders to visit Ukraine after the start of the war, he also thanked European countries for their response to Russian aggression, for taking in Ukrainian refugees and for their support for the Ukrainian people in these dark times. At the same time, he raised the prospect of further action if the war continues, including new EU sanctions, even as they begin to have a negative impact on European economies.

Welcoming Mr Stefanchuk to the Strasbourg Chamber, Parliament President Roberta Metsola stressed that "Ukraine's fight for freedom, for democracy, for the values that bind us as Europeans, is our fight. What Ukraine had to endure was unthinkable a few months ago, but your people have inspired the whole world."