Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine will not go unchallenged, Metsola tells Ukrainians

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visits Kyiv in a show of solidarity, promises full support for Ukraine’s ambition to become a candidate country for EU accession

EP President Roberta Metsola addressed a joint press conference with Russian Stefanchuk, chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament
EP President Roberta Metsola addressed a joint press conference with Russian Stefanchuk, chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament

Roberta Metsola has told Ukrainian MPs that Vladimir Putin’s “criminal invasion” of their country will not go unchallenged during a visit to Kyiv.

In a show of solidarity, the European Parliament President said Putin’s invasion put Russia in direct confrontation with Europe, the international community and the rules based world order. “That is not something we will let him do unchallenged,” she said during a press conference with Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament.

Metsola travelled to Ukraine on Friday, making her the first top EU official to visit the country after the prime ministers of Poland, Czechia and Slovenia last month travelled to Ukraine in a show of solidarity.

Metsola told Ukrainians that they can count on the European Parliament’s “full support” in achieving the goal of becoming a candidate country for accession into the EU.

She also promised the EU will help Ukraine rebuild its cities and towns destroyed by what she called an “illegal, unprovoked and unnecessary war”.

“We have already provided financial, military and humanitarian assistance, this will continue and it will increase. We will take care of your families who have been forced to flee until the day that they can safely return to their homes and rebuild their lives,” she said.

Roberta Metsola: 'The whole of Europe stands with Ukraine'
Roberta Metsola: 'The whole of Europe stands with Ukraine'

Metsola, who participated in a special session of the Ukrainian parliament, praised the Ukrainian people for the “extraordinary bravery, resilience and courage” they have shown in the face of the Russian invasion.

“Our thoughts are first and foremost with you, with all Ukrainians who lost their lives, a family member a relative or a friend. Please believe me when I say that the European Parliament, the European Union and the whole of Europe stands with Ukraine, that’s why I'm here today; I stand with you,” she said.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February and has been shelling cities all over the country. However, what appear to have been Russia’s initial plans to overrun the country shortly after sending troops across the border have been scuppered by tough Ukrainian resistance and logistical problems.

Ukraine has received military assistance from the US, UK and other countries with the EU last month providing military financing.

Russian forces continue to besiege some Ukrainian cities with the southern city of Mariupol becoming a symbol of resistance and suffering.

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