President of Ukraine

This year in Vilnius, it is necessary to finally establish that Ukraine will be a member of NATO – address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the Bucharest Nine Summit

6 June 2023 - 14:45

This year in Vilnius, it is necessary to finally establish that Ukraine will be a member of NATO – address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the Bucharest Nine Summit

Thank you very much, dear colleagues! 

First of all, I would like to thank you, dear Zuzana, Klaus, Andrzej, for the invitation. 

Jens, Mr. Secretary General! 

And dear participants!

Today, Russian terrorists have once again proved that they are a threat to everything living. Last night they blew up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, at 2:50 am this explosion happened. It was an absolutely deliberate, prepared explosion. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Just imagine the volume of water held by this dam. It was one of the largest reservoirs in Ukraine.

The flooding of the southern regions of our country has been ongoing since this night. At least 100 thousand people lived in these areas before the Russian invasion. At least tens of thousands are still there.

80 towns and villages are under water. Evacuation has already begun. And these are just the initial consequences. Unfortunately, the tragedy is much broader.

The Kakhovka reservoir was a source of drinking water for millions of people. Now, instead of a water supply system, there is only a water truck. Imagine that for cities with tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

The Kakhovka reservoir was a source of water for farming and agricultural production. Huge areas are now without irrigation. And now it is even difficult to determine what the consequences for the environment will be...

Russia has detonated a bomb of mass environmental destruction. And this is a real ecocide!

Of course, all our services, all those who can rescue people, are already involved. But only on the territory controlled by Ukraine.

Unfortunately, Russia has been controlling this dam and the entire Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant for more than a year. And it is physically impossible to blow it up somehow from the outside, by shelling. It was mined. It was mined by the Russian occupiers. And they blew it up.

And this once again demonstrates the cynicism with which Russia treats the people whose land it has captured, and what Russia actually brings to Europe and the world.

This is the largest man-made environmental disaster in Europe in decades. And it is the most dangerous terrorist in the world. And that is why Russia's defeat – a defeat that we will ensure anyway – will be the most significant contribution to the security of our region, our Europe and the entire world.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Of course, we will mobilize all possible support now, after such a Russian attack on people and nature. And I am grateful to all the leaders, states, and international organizations that have already condemned this Russian terrorist attack.

And we have called for the UN Security Council to be convened and we will reach out to everyone who is able to bring Russia to legal and fair accountability for this terror. But to truly guarantee security, we need more than that.

As long as the terrorist state still hopes to recoup somehow, as long as Russia still knows that doubts and fears remain somewhere here in Europe, we are all in danger. Because security is always a certainty, and it is always a foregone conclusion that those who encroach on security will lose.

We are moving on the ground, liberating our people from the Russian occupation.

We are creating an air shield that protects lives from attacks by Russian missiles and Iranian drones.

We are creating the coalition of Patriots to show everyone, all potential aggressors in the world, that free nations have effective weapons to defend themselves against any missile.

We are also creating a new coalition of fighter jets that will protect our people from Russian guided bombs and other forms of Russian aviation terror.

I am confident that we will find a way to counter Russia's environmental terror as well.

However, don't we know what constantly fuels Russian revanchism? What motivates Moscow to try to take control of this or that part of Europe through terror, disasters, corruption, and blackmail? We know this for sure.

This is the belief of Russia's rulers that Europe will allegedly show weakness. Weakness is the main hope and bet of terrorists.

Unfortunately, for years, security uncertainty has persisted in Europe – to whom NATO's doors are actually open. Are they open to all free nations?

At this year's NATO Summit in Vilnius, it is time to show that NATO's declared values and real values do not differ. It is time to show that there will be no weakness in Europe. How many more disasters will it take for a terrorist state to finally see that terror is not a tool to influence NATO's decisions?

And that's why Russia needs these disasters – the Kremlin wants to constrain us with them, and constrain you all. I am grateful to you, dear leaders, I am grateful to you, Jens, for standing up to this. Your rhetoric and actions are exactly what all our allies and partners need. This is what is needed to protect against terror and disasters. To defend against Russia.

I thank all of you who help us fight against the Russian occupiers. I thank all of you who help us increase the world's pressure on Russia for its terror. I thank all of you who help prepare the real content for this year's NATO Summit.

It is necessary to finally establish that Ukraine will be a member of NATO, and this can only be established by an invitation to Ukraine to join. Finally, it is necessary to determine the algorithm of when and as a result of what steps such accession will take place.

Finally, security guarantees for Ukraine on its way to NATO should be formalized.

When this happens, it will immediately deprive Russian revanchism of its purpose. Those who destroy must be destroyed themselves.

Terror must lose. And we have to ensure that with every step we take, every choice we make, and every summit we organize.

Thank you again, Zuzana! Thank you all, colleagues, for the invitation. Thank you for your attention! Thank you for your support!

Glory to Ukraine!