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Zelenskyy: Putin will win at EU summit if leaders hesitate

“Europe must win, agreements must be honored, and words must matter,” Zelenskyy said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressing the nation on 14 November 2023. Screenshot: Telegram/Zelenskyy Official

During December 14-15, a summit in Brussels will bring together European Union leaders. The summit is expected to focus on approving the bloc’s €50 billion funding package for Kyiv and discussing the progress of Ukraine’s EU accession negotiations.

During a video address to the EU leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a powerful message, urging the heads of state and government not to “fall back into indecision” or betray the faith placed in Europe.

“This day will go down in our history. Whether it’s good or bad for us, history will capture everything. Every word, every step, every action and inaction. Who fought for what,” Zelenskyy declared, highlighting the significance of their decisions.

Zelenskyy emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “Nobody wants Europe to be seen as untrustworthy. Or as unable to take decisions it prepared itself.”

The Ukrainian leader confidently asserted that Kyiv has met its obligations, saying, “We’re talking about a decision that was promised. And I haven’t heard any counter-argument as to why we shouldn’t implement the plan agreed upon by all of Europe.” He reminded the leaders that Ukraine had received clear recommendations and has since passed all the necessary laws, fulfilling every commitment.

Zelenskyy’s speech also included a poignant plea for the EU to uphold its promises. “I ask you one thing today – do not betray the people and their faith in Europe,” he implored, addressing the broader implications of Europe’s actions. He warned that a lack of belief in Europe could undermine the European Union’s existence and that any perceived leniency towards Moscow from Brussels could be detrimental.

“Putin will surely use this against you personally, and against all of Europe. Don’t give him this first – and only – victory of the year. Europe must win, agreements must be honored, and words must matter,” Zelenskyy concluded, highlighting the stakes involved in the EU’s decision-making.

Zelenskyy had wanted to attend the summit in person, according to EU diplomats, and leaders were prepared to invite him. However, as reported by Politico, they refrained from doing so out of concern about the reaction from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has already vetoed a proposed €50 billion Ukrainian aid package.

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