The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his address to participants of the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The Head of State spoke of Russia’s drone attack on the Odesa region’s town of Kiliia, which caused a huge fire.
“After the Russian ‘Shahed’ attack. Exactly on our infrastructure, which ensures the life of the Ukrainian part of the Black Sea and Danube regions... Actually, this is a fire in the body of our Three Seas. And these consequences of the attacks on Kiliya, on Reni, on Izmail, on Odesa, – on those cities that open the southern gate to the world for Ukraine, – are very vivid,” Zelensky said.
In his words, Russia is now hitting Ukraine, but “what would have happened if it had succeeded, as it did earlier in history, in making Ukraine its foothold?”.
“That’s what Putin was planning. Something that, unfortunately, your peoples have already seen! Along with the Ukrainian one. In the past. In the past, which became a time of captivity, because at key moments there was a lack of solidarity,” Zelensky stressed.
According to the President of Ukraine, the 24th of February changed everything.
“Europe – all of us – managed to prove that we are capable of historic acts of solidarity. And now, when Ukraine is grateful to your countries, grateful to you personally for your support, this is the gratitude we feel,” Zelensky noted.
The Head of State emphasized that the Three Seas Initiative is about unity, not division.
“So why, when Ukrainian ports are burning almost every night after Russian strikes, do we also have to worry that our land logistics will stop? When politics in Europe goes against the grain and ignores common commitments and shared values... when it happens in the midst of a brutal aggression against everything that is European, – everyone loses. Everyone! And only time separates us from the moment when the consequences of such a loss – will be revealed. Ukraine is strongly against any further restrictions on the export of our grain! We calmly watch as our grain becomes a source of good income for various European countries that process our agricultural products and make money on logistics. Farmers in different countries use Ukrainian feed for the benefit of their farms. Companies from different countries make money on transit. And this is a benefit for the entire European economy… But specifically for the Ukrainian segment of the European economy, it is not about making money, but about survival – in the face of Russian terror,” the President of Ukraine explained.
According to Zelensky, any restrictions against Ukrainian exports now are “a scaling-up of the destruction caused by Russian terrorists”.
“And I would like to address the European Commission specifically. The foundation of Europe is, among other things, free competition and fulfillment of promises. Ukraine fulfills its promises and never interferes with free competition. But how can we not-calmly accept the violation of the promises given to us, the violation of the Association Agreement, the violation of free market conditions... European institutions should not multiply disappointments in Europe. And should increase confidence in the words and promises that are made in Europe,” Zelensky stressed.
In his words, Ukraine is fighting for life and for common European values on the battlefield: at sea and on land, in the air and cyberspace, in the information environment and the sphere of commerce.
“But if we have to fight for Ukraine and the foundations of our common Europe in arbitration, we will fight. We don’t want to, but we will fight in arbitration. If we need to fight on the platforms of international organizations, we will fight there as well. But we hope for unity. And we hope that unity will win. That truth will win. May solidarity continue to unite us! May the whole Europe, from the Danube to the Vistula, continue to be a space of cooperation. Let the blame for the suffering in Europe be only on Russia,” the President of Ukraine concluded.
A reminder that the Three Seas Initiative was established in 2016. Now it consists of 12 states. Today, Ukraine has become an associate member of the Three Seas Initiative.
Photo, video: Office of the President of Ukraine