Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has delivered his first speech in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine since the war started and expressed gratitude to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson for providing support to Ukraine.
Ukrinform is citing the full text of the speech delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Parliament and published by the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Just before the President’s speech, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister! Dear Mr. Chairman! Dear people’s deputies of Ukraine!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to thank the leader of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and all the people of the United Kingdom. For the words we hear. For the actions we see. For the support we feel. For the help we actually receive. For the victory that we will definitely gain together!
On October 8, 2020, our countries became strategic partners. And on February 24, 2022, we proved that our partnership is not on paper. Our partnership is on the battlefield. In the battles for common ideals, battles for a common future.
It has been almost ten weeks since the Russian Federation declared full-scale war against them and invaded our beautiful Ukrainian land. During this time, Ukraine and Britain have gone a path from partners to friends and brothers. And the one who lied that he is a friend and a brother has gone a path from a neighbor to an occupier and a terrorist. Is it sad? Yes. Is it scary? No. Because these almost ten weeks have proved: it is not scary when such an evil enemy is against you if such a good friend is next to you. Such as Great Britain. And leader Boris Johnson.
And these words are not flattery, not courtesy, they are reality. We are together. Almost every day. We are in touch. Daily. If we don’t have a conversation today, it means only one thing: we are busy with what we agreed on yesterday. And it is so almost all these weeks, all this difficult time. For the sake of one goal, one moment – the first second of victory. And for the sake of one epoch – the epoch where peace reigns. In Ukraine, and therefore in Europe, and therefore in the world.
I would like to thank the United Kingdom, which is bringing this moment closer with us and which is ready to guarantee our security. And this gratitude of mine is not a formality. Because I know that the guarantees of Great Britain will never be a formality for Ukraine. Because these almost ten weeks have proved that your word is solid and your actions are decisive. Without any “almost”. I hate that word – “almost”.
As well as our interaction and support of British allies. First of all, it is a weapon and equipment for our military, which protects both Ukraine, Europe and the whole world from the Russian occupiers. I will not voice all the details to the public – let it be an unpleasant surprise for the aggressor every day.
Instead, I can speak openly about all other forms of support. This is humanity. And help for our refugees and internally displaced persons. Medicines, food, ambulances and fire engines and other large humanitarian aid. This is justice. And assistance in the investigation of war crimes of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. This is resilience. Macro-financial assistance for our economy. This is the abolition of customs duties, the abolition of quotas for our bilateral trade. This is the reconstruction of our land, this is the reconstruction of Kyiv and the Kyiv region, which will be joined by Great Britain.
These are important global things. Sanctions against the Russian Federation, energy embargo, asset blocking. These are ordinary, very simple human, but no less important, symbolic things. Blue and yellow flags on Trafalgar Square and Downing Street. When we are supported by London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, supported by Liverpool, Manchester and hundreds of other cities in this great state.
When Ukraine is supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John and Sting. Richard Branson, Joanne Rowling, the Beckhams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Queen, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple. Ed Sheeran, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Daniel Radcliffe and, of course, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
It is also very important – the return of Melinda Simmons, and the recent visit of Prime Minister Johnson. At a very difficult time and at a very necessary moment. Our walk in the streets of Kyiv showed the world that the heart of Ukraine feels. Pain. But the people we met there, their words, their eyes, smiles and gifts – already famous roosters, the same as in Borodyanka – all this showed the world what our Ukrainian soul feels. Indomitability. Unbreakability. Therefore, hope for victory. Today, I, our parliament and the entire Ukrainian people can say one thing: thank you, Britain! Thank you, friends!
Dear people’s deputies of Ukraine!
Please agree, when there is such unity in this hall, it is priceless! During these almost ten weeks, I have addressed the House of Commons, the US Congress, the European Parliament, the Bundestag, the Knesset, the Seimas, and many other parliamentarians and parliaments. But I did not address you. And this is not contempt, on the contrary – it is a great trust in you. You are here. And you know very well what is happening in our country. We are all citizens of this great state, and you know exactly what to do. I believe that has not changed in these almost ten weeks. I will be happy if the following becomes obvious and indisputable for you.
You are the people’s deputies of the greatest state in the modern world! I’m sure of it! You are the people’s deputies of Ukraine. Keywords are “people” and “Ukraine”. I think we will abandon trifles, political speculation until peacetime, although it is better to abandon them forever. The agenda of the Verkhovna Rada is obvious. The keyword is “order”. Because there is no time for spam, quarrels and PR – everyone already knows you. I think wise rationalism and sound nationalism are important. All this is very important for us today.
You are part of a large Ukrainian army. Your frontline is a legislative field in which you must work for our people, for each of us, for our state, for our victory. Like our army, like the whole country. Work 24/7. No days off, no unnecessary emotions, slogans, etc. Today we all have one party, and this party is Ukraine. One faction – Ukraine. One majority – Ukraine. One, strong, independent. And everything that does not help it or, God forbid, harms, weakens or splits, must be not in the minority, no. This must be a thing of the past.
Just like someone’s hopes of sitting out somewhere. Currently, the absence of a deputy is justified by only two things: his work abroad or in the regions for the interests of our state or his death for the interests of the state. The rest is of no interest to Ukraine today. It doesn’t need anything else, it won’t have anything else! Anything else follows the Russian warship!
Please do not waste time on unnecessary laws. There are important priorities for the state. I know that you are professionals, you will do it. The state is waiting. Please do not waste your time, my time, the time of the people of Ukraine on minor initiatives and unimportant things. It seems to me that laws should be as timely as Lend-Lease. Accurate as our “Stugna” and “Bayraktar”. And bring benefits like “Neptune”. And glory like our army. And to be such that will go down in history like the people of Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!