Ukraine updates: EU says Kyiv prepared for membership talks

June 7, 2024

Europe no longer a continent of peace, Zelenskyy tells French lawmakers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he hoped a summit hosted by Switzerland this month on bringing peace to Ukraine could hasten a fair end to the war in his country.

“The inaugural peace summit could become a format that would bring closer a just end to this war,” Zelensky told the French parliament on Friday, warning 80 years after the D-Day landings of World War II that Europe was “unfortunately, no longer a continent of peace.”

“Again, Europe’s cities are being destroyed and villages are burned,” he said of Russia’s bombing of Ukraine. He also decried the abduction of Ukrainian children in occupied territories.

“This is against Ukraine now. But this can be aimed at other countries tomorrow, and we already see clearly the direction of the aggression the Baltic countries, Poland, the Balkans,” the Ukrainian president said.

“The Russian regime does not see any limits and even Europe is no longer enough,” Zelensky said, pointing to Russian military actions in Syria and Moscow’s growing footprint in the Sahel region of Africa.

“It is in Ukraine that lies the key to the security of Europe,” the Ukrainian president said, implying peace could not be made along the current lines of control.

“Because without control on Ukraine, Russia will have to be a normal national state and not a colonial empire that is constantly looking for new territory in Europe, as well as Asia and Africa,” he said.

Zelenskyy thanked France for its support, adding that Ukraine can rely on French air defense systems, armored vehicles, artillery and missiles.

“I am grateful for all you are already doing and it is a lot. But for a fair peace, more must be done,” he said.

Zelenskyy also said he hoped to see French warplanes in the Ukrainian skies.

“Your planes, commanded by Ukrainian pilots, will prove that Europe is stronger than the evil that dared to threaten it,” he added.

Macron said Thursday that Paris plans to provide Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine. 

Ukrainian teacher from Kyiv joins the fight against Russia

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