Bratislava, May 10 (TASR) – Addressing MPs of the Slovak Parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Slovakia for the solidarity that it has shown and the help that it has been providing to Ukraine.
According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine appreciates defence support from Slovakia. “It would be good if other countries of Europe and the world learnt this from you,” he said.
The Ukrainian president also called for assistance in the field of defence and support for sanctions and Ukraine’s European prospects to be continued. He called on Slovakia to be a voice for Ukraine in the EU.
Zelenskyy stated that Russia’s actions attest to the fact that it wants to “turn Ukraine’s independence into dust” and that Russia has started to go against the whole of Europe, beginning with Ukraine. Every country wants to live freely and freely choose its future, including what groupings it wants to join and whom it wants to or doesn’t want to trade with.
According to Zelenskyy, Slovak Premier Eduard Heger (OLaNO) was one of the first “foreign friends” to perceive the horrors in the suburbs of Kiev. He mentioned massacres of civilians and shot-up schools and called Russia a tyrant that wants to subdue us all. “All of us in Europe should stop this,” said Zelenskyy. If we don’t stop Russian troops in response to the crimes that they committed in the Ukrainian towns of Bucha and Borodyanka, they could come to the territory of Slovakia as well, he added.
“The first and foremost tools to defeat them are weapons. Ukrainians will always remember how Slovakia provided us with what we really needed, and there is potential for us to continue. I’m talking about aircraft and helicopters,” stated Zelenskyy.
Sanctions are an element of defence, and they shouldn’t be weakened, said the Ukrainian president, describing the sixth package of EU sanctions as necessary. “Energy sanctions are needed as well. We do understand that it is difficult for you,” he added. According to him, Ukraine understands that the issue of Russian oil and replacing it is difficult for Slovakia. He noted that Russia was a significant gas supplier to Ukraine. “This all ended with a gas war and with a final treaty that threatened our sovereignty,” said Zelenskyy. The Russians wanted to give discounts to Ukraine, but this was just a “cover” for issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians, “for propaganda and a slow annexation” and an invasion of Ukrainian territory in 2014.
According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine has travelled a path and made mistakes that Slovakia and Europe can avoid. “There’s a need to reject oil, as it is a question of freedom; freedom has such a price,” he said, adding that we shouldn’t be so politically dependent on Russian gas.