It Is Our Leadership and the Will of Ukrainians that Must Work for Peace, Europe and Life – the President at his Speech in the Bundestag

6/12/2024
singleNews

Dear German people!

Everyone who feels that war is wrong. Everyone who, like Ukrainians, is convinced that war is a crime against life, and who wholeheartedly wishes Ukraine to achieve peace as soon as possible, who supports us – our people, Ukrainian families, the Ukrainian State, our defense. First of all, I want to thank you all today – thank you for the humanity that prevails in your hearts. That is why Germany did not stand aside from the pain and suffering of Ukrainians. Ordinary people, different German cities, states and communities – you have helped and are helping.

Thank you, Germany!

My speech today is addressed to all of you. To those who exercise power and to those who give power. To all those who hold humanity in their hearts and who therefore remain faithful to the dream of a peaceful Europe. A Europe that is bigger than all of us. A Europe that remembers the experience of hundreds of generations that have lived on our continent, most of whom, unfortunately, were not destined to live in peace. And that is why the dream of a Europe that must be a continent of culture, must be a continent of people, must be a continent without war, has gained so much strength. 

I personally have confidence in this kind of Europe.

A Europe that will surely be a happy home for our children and their children.

A Europe that will not allow hatred to take root.

The one that will do everything in its power to correct this mistake of European history – this war that is going on in our continent and is threatening to escalate into a much wider confrontation.

We will not leave it as our legacy.

We will end this war.

We will end it in the best interests of Ukraine and all of Europe. All of us. And all those who will come after us. We will end it on our own terms. The terms that are clear to any person, any ordinary person on this Earth.

Mr. Federal President!

Mr. Federal Chancellor!

Madam President of the Bundestag and Madam President of the Bundesrat!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Dear MPs!

Dear attendees!

Dear Germany!

A divided Europe has never been peaceful.

And a divided Germany has never been happy.

You know all this not from me, you know it from your own experience.

Therefore, you can understand us – Ukrainians.

You can understand why we are fighting so hard against Russia's attempts to divide us, divide Ukraine, why we are doing everything – absolutely everything – to prevent a wall between the parts of our country.

No country should be doomed to have barbed wire tearing through its body for decades.

Humiliated European nations have never truly known peace.

Some had to fight against humiliation even after they had defeated the occupier.

That is why now – after this war – we strive not to leave any humiliation on the land that has been scarred by the attacks. No humiliation in the soul of the people.

Ukrainians deserve peace, simply peace after this war.

And everyone who defended their home; everyone who lost loved ones; everyone whose brothers and sisters in arms remained forever on the battlefields – all of them deserve a worthy end to the war, one that leaves no doubt about who won.

And the one who brought the war should, on the contrary, forget about peace. Forever. The one guilty of the war must be held accountable. They must justly answer for every crime of this war.

It is only fair accountability that gives a historic chance to heal from aggression.

Russia must go through this – complete and principled accountability for the war unleashed.

Russia must also clean up the ruins it has left behind. It must pay for all the damage caused by this aggression – both to our country and to our people.

If there are ruins somewhere, the war will return there someday. This must not happen. Never again.

We must rebuild a normal life. All of us together. Everyone who values life.

And every Russian asset that can be used for this must be used. Without any compromises with the aggressor.

The time for compromises is over.

It was over exactly when Putin started burning cities and awarding his murderers. When he chose killings over agreements.

The Russian army leaves behind dozens of new cemeteries, and this means that none of us has the right to leave behind a deficit of protection from the Russian army. The word of someone in Moscow cannot be such protection. Europe has to be a continent of sufficient strength to be a space of sufficiently robust peace.

Otherwise, it won't work.

And even if someone tried otherwise, Putin himself would erase any hope of making a deal with him.

He seeks to conquer – not just Russia's neighbors.

Russian killers were in Aleppo and are in Africa.

They learned war by destroying Grozny and breaking Georgia. They left Moldova divided.

They brought Belarus to its knees.

Are we going to allow Russia to continue this march through Europe? This march of disregard for life and nations.

Absolutely not.

And this is our common interest.

A shared interest that Putin personally loses.

That he loses this war. That Putin loses his attempt to drag Europe to a level where there is no way out of the war already.

Ladies and gentlemen!

You probably remember that just a year or two before the fall of the Berlin Wall, no one could have predicted how quickly it would happen.

Some thought that the wall would be there forever.

But it was gone.

And it depended on the leadership of politicians and the will of the people. Only on this.

Similarly, some people now think that Putin is there forever, and that there is no end to the war.

But this is not true, all this is an illusion.

An illusion that can be dispelled by leadership. It can be dispelled by decisions. It can be dispelled by success.

And we are doing it! Together with you, Germany! Ukrainians will always be grateful to you for this.

Ukraine has been holding out against full-scale aggression for more than eight hundred days. 839.

On February 24, at the beginning of this invasion, no one would have believed it was possible, but now it is a fact.

We have proven that Russia can fail and be defeated. We have shown that together with our partners, we have everything necessary to protect life.

We have demonstrated that through our cooperation, we can expand the space of security. And the space of security does not grow on its own – it only expands through joint decisions and collective courage.

All these are facts. All these are manifestations of leadership – of Ukraine, Germany, and all our allies and partners.

In particular, your leadership – those present in this hall of the Bundestag. I thank you – each and every one of you personally.

And I am especially grateful to you for your leadership in providing Ukraine with Patriots – you have saved thousands of lives. Thank you!

Do we have any other goal than peace?

No.

Do we have any other continental dream than a peaceful Europe?

No.

Do we have any other duty than to protect our nations, our Europe and the rules-based international order?

No.

Russia has other goals and dreams. It stands alone against all of us. And that is why we all have to force it to change.

And it is possible.

Because there are no walls that do not fall.

Ladies and gentlemen!

In a few days, we will meet with Mr. Chancellor of Germany and other leaders of Europe and the world in Switzerland for the inaugural Peace Summit. Russia tried to disrupt this Summit. But it will take place.

This is a joint success of Ukraine and dozens of countries.

Usually, after a war, circumstances were determined either by the winners or by a few strong ones who could intervene and impose something on everyone else. Even against their will.

Now we offer a fundamentally different format.

One in which no one can manipulate and derail agreements, as Russia has done repeatedly, and where all voices are heard – the voices of the world.

States from all parts of the world will be represented at the Peace Summit, and each of them will be able to show their character and leadership in the collective effort.

Everyone has a common goal: to begin, step by step, to fully restore security and move towards real peace. To begin, step by step, to restore the effectiveness of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international law that guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, as well as the rights of people and nations.

We want to give diplomacy a chance – and we have gathered about a hundred states for this purpose.

Ukraine has never relied on the power of arms alone. Yes, we understand what kind of murderers we have to fight against today, and we will not forget that only weapons effectively stop them and protect our lives.

But we also remember that peace grows not out of shots, but out of guarantees – reliable guarantees that there will be no more shots, and that evil will no longer come to the land of the people it wanted to destroy.

What can give such guarantees to Ukraine now?

The unity of the world, and that is why the Peace Summit is important.

The unity of friends, and that is why our cooperation should be as effective as possible.

The unity of Europe, and that is why Ukraine needs to become a full-fledged part of the European political and security space. Just as it is the reason why you and your neighbors have lived for decades without the threat of someone taking away your country.

Dear friends!

It is up to us, together with all our partners and everyone who values life and helps protect it now, to determine what the legacy of this time will be for Europe in the times to come.

Will there be security? Will there be respect?

Will there be peace?

I am confident that we will choose the right answer. We will choose to end this war. On our terms. And we will completely eliminate the security deficit in Europe that gave Putin the illusion that his aggressive actions would succeed.

It is our leadership and the will of the Ukrainians that must succeed – for the sake of peace, for the sake of Europe, for the sake of life.

And so it will be.

There will be Europe – a continent without war.

Thank you for the invitation, thank you very much for your attention! Thank you for your attitude towards our people, whom you have sheltered since the beginning of the war. We will never forget it.

Thank you very much, Germany!

Glory to Ukraine!