Ukraine’s President, speaking in English, addressed representatives of over 50 member and associate nations at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Denmark, receiving a standing ovation in response.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the plenary session of the 69th NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA) in Copenhagen on Monday against the background of not only Ukraine’s war against Russia but also the ongoing situation in Israel.
The meeting was the culmination of two days of committee meetings that addressed a wide range of security issues in which the war with Russia took center stage.
Speaking via video link, he appealed for NATO and the global community to do what was necessary to uphold the international rule of law: unite and deal with terrorism. He said that “those who rape women, kill indiscriminately, parade children as trophies, fill villages and towns with blood and shoot civilians in cars” must, by any definition be called terrorists.
Drawing parallels with what he called an attack by a “terrorist organization” on Israel and those employed by the Kremlin, he called Russia a “terrorist state.”
He quoted Israeli journalists who had witnessed atrocities in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine and were now seeing the same thing happen in their own nation.
He thanked the international community several times for the help they had given Ukraine which he tempered with thinly veiled criticism of those who may be becoming less supportive: “This is not the time to withdraw from the international arena into internal disputes. This is not the time to stay silent,” adding that terrorism on one continent can all too easily affect the rest of the world.
Ukraine’s president firmly pointed the finger at Iran for its support to Russia: “[Iran] can’t say it has nothing to do with what is going in Ukraine” if it sells Shahed drones to Moscow, or that “it has nothing to do with what is going in Israel when it is known to provide political and material support to Hamas.”
As he finished the whole hall stood and gave him a standing ovation that lasted for so long the president looked somewhat embarrassed. The President of the NATO PA, Michal Szczerba, then intervened to thank Zelensky and ended with the words “Slava Ukraini” – Glory to Ukraine.
President Zelensky receives a standing ovation. Photo: Screenshot of NATO video feed
Zelensky was followed by the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk who also addressed the assembly in English. While not as fluent as his boss, his words struck a slightly more conciliatory tone in thanking NATO and the rest of Kyiv’s partners and allies for their continued support to his country.
Denmark’s Prime Minister’s address
Earlier Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, who has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters, having made three visits to the capital since the start of the full-scale invasion and being the driving force behind the formation of the so-called “F-16 coalition” spoke to the assembly.
Denmark’s prime Minister Mette Frederiksen addressing the NATO PA on Oct. 9. Photo: Screenshot NATO video feed
She spoke strongly in favor of the West continuing to support Ukraine and not allowing Kyiv to fall victim to its allies’ “war fatigue.”
She said: “Brave Ukrainian men and women are fighting on the battlefield. They are the face of right against wrong, of good against evil. This [invasion] is a threat to the ideas our alliance is built on – freedom, democracy, the rule of law.”
She continued that Ukraine was fighting for all democracy: “We must be with Ukraine to the bitter end. None of us can claim war fatigue while Ukraine continues its tireless fight.”
She added: “Ukrainian soldiers are fighting with our weapons, our tanks, our missiles, and soon Ukraine will also fly our F-16s.”
Frederiksen, staring pointedly at the audience called for other NATO nations to broaden the F-16 coalition and to supply the fighter aircraft and the training for pilots and technicians needed to carry on the fight.
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