Zelensky: Ukraine has taken ‘important’ step on ‘path to the European Union’

Associated Press
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the world’s only Jewish head of state other than the president of Israel.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his nation has taken “a very important” step toward the country’s path to the European Union after a Monday meeting with the secretary general of the Council of Europe.

Zelensky met with Marija Pejčinović Burić to discuss “concrete ways to support Ukraine at this difficult time for our country,” according to a statement from the Ukrainian president’s office.

“Today, we have taken another step – a very important and not just a formal step – on our path to the European Union,” Zelensky said in a video speech following the meeting.

The leaders also discussed “initiatives to establish a group of legal experts to assist the Office of the Prosecutor General” and a new online platform aimed at supporting local communities in Ukraine, Cities4Cities.

Zelensky stressed that one of the key issues for Ukraine “is the protection of human rights in the temporarily occupied territories.”

In his speech, Zelensky said the country also completed the second part of the answers “to a special questionnaire” that is submitted by each country wishing to join the European Union. He said it was completed in a few weeks, but it usually takes months.

The Ukrainian president also said he also met with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and thanked them for their support.

“They are well aware that this war is not only for our freedom, but also for the freedom of all Europeans,” he added.

Zelensky’s statements came on one of the most important holidays in Russia, Victory Day, which observes the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II. Earlier that day, he told the Ukrainian people that “very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine.”

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday compared the Soviet Union fighting against Nazi aggressors to Russian forces in Ukraine. In his speech in the Red Square, he said Russia was “fighting for the Motherland, so that no one will forget the lessons of World War II and there will be no place in the world for hangmen, executioners and the Nazis.”

In his video speech, Zelensky said that Russia “can show anything in propaganda,” however, “the reality cannot be changed.”

“Well, we, Ukrainians, continue to work for our defense, victory and restoration of justice. Today, tomorrow and any other day needed for the liberation of Ukraine from the occupiers,” he continued.

“I am grateful to all our defenders.”

Tags russia Russia-Ukraine war russian invasion of ukraine ukraine Ursula von der Leyen Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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