My speech at the Solidarity March for Ukraine, organised by LUkraine, on the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

Dear President of LUkraine, dear Nicolas

Dear President of the Chambre des députés, dear Claude

Dear Head of Commission in Luxembourg, dear Anne

Dear Ambassador, dear Vlad

Dear President of the Youth Parliament, dear Sam,

On this day, two years ago, Ukrainians woke up to the sounds of Russian bombs and boots, attacking their homes and their country.

Once again, war reared its ugly head on the European continent.

When Russia’s unprovoked and cruel aggression hit Ukraine, trying to subjugate a sovereign country and its people, we instinctively knew that our world would not be the same.

That old certainties had given way to new unknowns.

We also instinctively felt that the fate of Ukrainians and our own destiny were inextricably linked, through the values we share and the common future we aspire to.

We knew that the immense sacrifice of Ukraine and its brave people is also made on our behalf.

That their struggle against their invader is also a fight for our own freedom and security.

That is why, as the EU, we reacted swiftly and decisively to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle.

Putin underestimated our resolve and unity.

If we stand here today, and I thank the organisers for organising this important solidarity march, it is that Ukrainians still need our unity, our resolve and our solidarity.

The war is raging on.

Yet Ukrainians do not hesitate to sacrifice and resist, even in the face of great human tragedy, because they know that Putin’s world is the anTI-theSIS to everything they value: freedom, democracy, fundamental rights.

If we stand here today, it is because the Ukrainian people need our continued support to repel Putin’s invasion and to realise their European aspirations.

The European Parliament has stood with the Ukrainian people from the very beginning.

President Metsola was the first top EU official to travel to Ukraine after the invasion to meet President Zelensky and to deliver a message of support and hope in the Ukrainian Parliament.

Two years later, this support remains resolute and unwavering.

The European Parliament has supported the sanctions to cripple Russia’s economy and war machine, and I welcome the adoption of the 13th package of sanctions yesterday.

The European Parliament has called for ambitious military aid so that Ukrainians can defend themselves against Putin’s despicable aggression.

It has asked for more humanitarian aid to those in need, and will continue to insist on rebuilding Ukraine, using frozen Russian assets.

It has adopted resolutions on the impact of the war on women, on the protection of children and young people fleeing the war in Ukraine, and on fighting impunity.

The European Parliament was also the first to support Ukraine to receive EU candidate status and was a strong advocate to start accession talks.

I also want to specifically mention the importance of civil society, and of organisations such as LUkraine.

We could not have handled this extraordinary situation without the pre-eminent role played by civil society.

Their relentless efforts in coordinating, supporting, liaising, both in Ukraine and here in the Member States, often in the most difficult of circumstances, are nothing short of miraculous.

When the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize to the brave people of Ukraine, it was not a coincidence that we explicitly mentioned civil society.

And when I had the honour to award the European Citizen’s prize to LUkraine on behalf of the European Parliament, it was to recognise your importance for Ukrainians here in Luxembourg and your relentless efforts to help those still in the crossfire of Russia’s violence.

Dear all,

War yields many tragedies. Death and injury, the destruction of homes and cities, millions of lives uprooted.

But such dark times also put on display the best in people: Their courage, their resilience and their indomitable sense for freedom inspires us all.

I was also proud to see that our Member States, our local authorities and our citizens welcomed Ukrainians into their communities and into their lives.

I hope that, in due time, we can similarly welcome Ukraine in our European community.

You can count on the support of the European Parliament.

Thank you.

Slava Ukraini.