Zelensky reinforces Ukraine’s proximity to the EU in a speech at the European Parliament


After visiting London and Paris, in a sort of surprise tour of Europe, Volodimir Zelensky arrived in Brussels this Thursday (9) to participate in a summit with European Union leaders.

The trip marks the second time that the Ukrainian president has left his country since the beginning of the war. His objective with her remains the same as in recent months — to secure more arms shipments to Kiev. But the diplomatic strategy is new for the leader, who until the end of last year communicated mainly through videos.

Zelensky was greeted by an uproar of the European Parliament, with some of the lawmakers wearing the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag. In the speech, which received a standing ovation, he thanked the community for their support in recent months. And he sought to emphasize the proximity between Ukraine and the rest of Europe, in a reinforcement of accelerating his candidacy for the bloc – presented days after the invasion of his territory by Russia.

“Europe, we are defending ourselves against the greatest anti-European force in the modern world. We Ukrainians are on the battlefront, together with you,” the leader said. And he concluded: “A victorious Ukraine will be part of the European Union”.

The EU gave the green light to Kiev’s candidacy in the middle of last year, in an above all symbolic gesture in the midst of war. But the path to accession could take years, as the process requires profound reforms in the country. One of them is the adoption of a series of anti-corruption measures. Ukraine is in second place in the ranking of the most corrupt countries on the continent, behind only Russia.

Zelensky’s government has been carrying out operations in this regard in recent weeks, with the removal of several authorities, the issuance of search and seizure warrants against others and, more recently, the arrest of billionaire Ihor Kolomoiskii, a former ally of the president.

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