In November 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky published a ten-point “Peace Formula,” and began the process of securing international support for it as a way of securing peace, repairing the damage done to Ukraine by the Russian invasion and warning of the danger Russia poses to other countries.

The plan’s ten elements start with nuclear security and end when the end of the war in Ukraine is confirmed, emphasizing international security and justice.

On the eve of the meeting of international leaders in Switzerland, Kyiv Post spoke with Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, to get her views on some of the most important and pressing issues facing Ukraine today.

Do you believe that the peace summit in Switzerland will help create a roadmap to end the war? What should Ukraine realistically expect the outcome to be?

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This summit is of great significance to Ukraine and to the international community. It is a clear sign of our support to Ukraine and of a global effort to end the unjustified Russian war against peaceful Ukraine. It is very important that we come together at the summit to lay the groundwork for a just peace in Ukraine, and to pave the way for lasting stability in the region. The fundamental principle is that nothing can be agreed about Ukraine, without Ukraine.

The aim of this conference is to find common ground and make progress on issues that are not only a part of President Zelensky’s peace formula but are also of great importance to the international community, be it nuclear safety, food security or humanitarian issues. I cannot anticipate the outcome of the summit, but we will do everything in our power to ensure its success.

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Ukraine is a top priority for us. The European Parliament fully supports Ukraine’s Peace Formula, which is the only comprehensive framework for a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine. We encourage all international partners to help further this process, and we commend all efforts undertaken in goodwill, to bring this peace process forward, including a follow-up conference. I would especially like to thank Switzerland for hosting this very important gathering.

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Let me also take this occasion to reiterate that the EU will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.

What are the primary obstacles preventing Ukraine from joining the European Union more quickly?

Let me start by emphasizing that the European Parliament fully supports the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

Joining the EU is a merit-based process. There are no shortcuts. Each country has its own trajectory of negotiations where the rights and obligations that constitute the body of EU law must be adopted, and necessary reforms implemented.

Ukraine proved its determination by adopting a set of difficult reforms when it was granted EU candidate status in 2022. And all this while having to defend its country and its people from the brutal Russian aggression. We are very impressed by the incredible work done by President Zelensky, the Ukrainian government and the Verkhovna Rada, under these toughest of conditions.

We are now only weeks away from a decision on the actual start of negotiations and I am convinced that the brave Ukrainian people and their institutions will continue to do what is required in this process, knowing also that we are constantly ready to provide all necessary assistance along the way.

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What is your reaction to the far-right gains in the EU elections? What do you think is behind it?   What are the implications for the EU, and for Ukraine?

I think the result of the European elections is clear. Most Europeans have voted for moderate and pro-European political forces. Democracy is alive and our Parliament will be one that is constructive and that will continue to work for all Europeans. We will continue to deliver.

The European Parliament has been the strongest supporter of Ukraine. It was the first EU institution to call for granting Ukraine EU candidate status in 2022 and to open accession negotiations. Our Parliament has shown unprecedented unity in its support for Ukraine, so I have no reason to believe this will change in the near term.

Can Europe stop Putin? Does it have the political will?

Ukraine can stop Putin with the support of the EU, and other like-minded partners, many of whom will be present in Switzerland.

To achieve this goal, we must act swiftly and decisively. We must continue to help Ukraine defend itself by providing military aid, ammunition, air defense systems and other equipment.

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We must also go further with our sanctions, to close loopholes and make sure that our partners also adhere to these sanctions.

It is also important to make sure that Russian perpetrators, including Russia’s leadership, will be brought to justice for all the crimes they have committed against Ukraine.

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