April 1, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola are seen prior to their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 1. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola traveled to Ukraine and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called it a “heroic” visit.

Metsola, the first leader of an EU institution to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, posted a picture of her shaking hands with Zelensky on Twitter Friday.

“Courage, strength, resolve. With Zelensky in Kyiv. Slava Ukraini!” Metsola captioned the photo. 

Her visit was welcomed by the Ukrainian leader who, in a speech posted to social media on Friday, called it an “important moment” for the country. 

“You demonstrate heroism because it’s heroic to come to Ukraine at this time. Of course, we defend Ukraine because it’s our country and our life but to come from abroad, it’s a very important step of support of our people,” Zelensky remarked.

Last month, the Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic also traveled to Ukraine and reaffirmed their support for the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion during a meeting with Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in the capital of Kyiv. 

Speaking in an address to the Ukrainian parliament on Friday, Metsola said she had come “as a representative of the European Parliament” to tell Ukrainians one thing: “We are with you. In good times and in less good times — we are with you.”

Metsola made three promises to Ukraine during her speech: To hold those “responsible accountable for what they have committed here,” to take care of Ukrainian families forced to flee their homes and to support Ukraine’s European Union aspirations. 

“The European Union recognizes Ukraine’s European ambitions and your aspirations to be a candidate country for accession. And I stand before all of you here to say, that you can count on me, you can count on the European Parliament in supporting Ukraine’s path in achieving this goal. We know what blood was spilt to get here. And we will not let you down,” Metsola stressed. 

In his speech, Zelensky lamented the fact that he couldn’t come and personally address the European Parliament due to “understandable circumstances,” adding though that he thought that “voice of Ukraine is being heard today.”

“I am glad that in our relationships there are no hierarchy, no pathetic emotions. You have come, and this is a very important signal, we are very grateful and will never forget,” Zelensky concluded.



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