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From Kyiv, Iratxe García said: “Victory for a free Ukraine is a victory for Europe, for our common project, and for the free world”

Date

29 Mar 2023

Sections

Global Europe

A delegation of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament led by its president, Iratxe García Pérez, visited Ukraine to meet with key representatives of the government, parliament, and presidential administration to express the Group’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and to reaffirm its commitment to accompany Ukraine in its accession to the European Union.

Iratxe García, who was accompanied by MEPs Pedro Marques, Tonino Picula, Sven Mikser, and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal; Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna; Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba; Deputy Head of the President‘s Office Ihor Zhovkva; and First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Korniienko. The S&D MEPs also held important exchanges with Sakharov and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and head of the Centre for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Matviichuk, and with the leadership and young activists of the progressive political movement and partner, SD Platform.

Iratxe García said:

“I expressed our heartfelt solidarity with the people of Ukraine and I reiterated our clear message of unity and continuity in our support to the country. We are determined to ensure that any partisan interests are left aside to really put our values and our shared future first. Ukraine is defending its territory but it is also defending its people’s right to a peaceful and prosperous life. As Europeans, we will support that right resolutely in Brussels, with our transatlantic and international partners, and globally with a strong focus on the Global South. We all must work together to protect a rules-based international order firmly anchored in international law and the UN Charter.

“Our commitment to victory for a free Ukraine will last as long as it takes, and it covers all areas, from humanitarian assistance to military and political support, but also economic, financial, and technical assistance, as well as all our cooperation to make Putin’s regime accountable for its brutal aggression and its atrocious war crimes. One of the most horrific crimes are the forced deportations and adoptions of Ukrainian children in Russia, as underlined by the recent International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants. With the Ombudsman, we agreed on the need to launch a strong initiative for ‘solidarity holidays’ for Ukrainian children.

“I had already met President Zelenskyi and key Ukraine representatives in Brussels, but being with them in Kyiv and to see Maidan Square has a deep symbolic impact. I wanted to pay tribute to all those Ukrainians who bravely risked their lives not only to free their country, but also to fight for our shared European values and our common European future. This mission is an opportunity to enhance contacts with Ukrainian partners in government, in parliament, with civil society, and with progressive movement SD Platform.”

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