Zhelensky of Ukraine urges EU: “Prove you’re with us”

Brussels, March 1 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky on Tuesday urged the European Union (EU) to prove its support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

“We are fighting to be equal members of Europe,” Zhelensky told an emergency session of the European Parliament via video link.

“Prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you are truly European, then life will conquer death, light will conquer darkness,” he said in a translation in Ukrainian. English by the translator who spoke with tears in his eyes as he was overwhelmed with emotion in Parliament.

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EU lawmakers, many wearing #standwith Ukraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, while others, with blue and yellow scarves or ribbons, stood up and greeted Zhelensky with applause.

“The European Union will be very strong with us. Without you, Ukraine will be isolated,” Zelenskiy said. read more

EU lawmakers are expected to call Russia a “rogue country” and urge the 27-nation bloc to accept even tougher sanctions, which they will vote on later Tuesday.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war on its neighbor last week, the European Union has taken unprecedented steps, including funding Ukraine’s arms supply. read more

According to a draft resolution and amendments backed by the main parties in the legislature, lawmakers should expand the scope of sanctions and “aim to strategically weaken the Russian economy and industrial base, especially the military-industrial complex.”

Lawmakers say Russia’s occupation of Ukraine “effectively turns Russia into a rogue state.”

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Putin said the draft resolution, which was not tied to Zelenskiy’s “heroism,” recalled “the most horrific statements of dictators of the 20th century.”

The European Parliament will urge EU leaders to ban oligarchs and officials close to the Russian leadership, to restrict oil and gas imports from Russia, to ban Russia and its ally Belarus from the SWIFT banking news agency, and to close all EU ports. Russian ships or ships going to or from Russia.

“The message from Europe is clear. We will stand up and we will not look back when street fighters for Putin’s put down Putin’s war machine,” EU Parliamentarian Roberto Metzola told EU and Ukrainian flags. .

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

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Report by Phil Blenkinsop, Bart Meijer, Ingrid Melander, Jan Strupczewski; Written by Ingrid Melander; Editing Raisa Kasolovsky

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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