The Ukrainian people, defending the integrity of their state, preserve the integrity of the entire European Union, a united and peaceful Europe. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during an extended meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Moldova Maia Sandu on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom.
Greeting friends of Ukraine in Kyiv, the Head of State noted that Ukraine cannot be separated from Europe, and Ukrainians proved it.
"They also proved that in Europe the fates of peoples are closely linked. And when the freedom of one nation prevails, other free peoples of Europe always prevail as well," he said.
According to the President, this was the geopolitical meaning of the Ukrainian Maidan and the Revolution of Dignity, and now it is the meaning of the fight of Ukrainians for their state and its independence.
"By defending their freedom, Ukrainians are also defending freedom for their neighbors in Europe. By defending our European choice, we are defending the European choice for our friends, for Moldova, for Georgia, for other neighbors, for Belarus, for our entire region. And by defending our integrity, we preserve the integrity of the entire European project - a united and peaceful Europe," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to the Head of State, today Ukraine's optimism about European unity has become even stronger than it was ten years ago.
"Together with you - together with all our partners in Europe - we have shown how strong our continent is and how powerful our freedom is. And European values will never lose, because we will not lose," he said.
The President noted that despite all the difficulties, Ukraine is bringing its European dream closer to realization.
"We have obtained candidate status. We are fulfilling the recommendations of the European Commission to start accession negotiations in full and in a quality manner. We are doing everything that is required of us. We expect that our partners in the EU will fairly assess our work and progress and make the objectively necessary positive decision to start negotiations with Ukraine, which we dream of and which we and the whole of Europe deserve so much," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
President of the European Council Charles Michel, for his part, noted the EU's support for Ukrainians in their fight for European values, which began ten years ago on Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity.
"Our European future will be safer with Ukraine in the EU. We have made a very important decision by deciding to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries," he emphasized.
Charles Michel invited the presidents of Ukraine and Moldova to a meeting in December. According to him, it is very important that both countries prepare for future membership.
"In December, we have to make a decision on the next steps. We have to ensure that the goal of this expansion process is not just more numbers, but also more effectiveness, more ability to defend common values," he added.
President of Moldova Maia Sandu noted that Kyiv symbolizes resilience and hope. She emphasized that the losses suffered by the Ukrainian people during the Revolution of Dignity and the losses suffered today as a result of the Russian war protected Ukraine's independence and protect Moldova.
"Moldova will stand firmly with Ukraine. We will host Ukrainian citizens, invest in resilience and solidarity. We will unite efforts around Ukraine. We are part of the international community that wants to hold Russia accountable," emphasized Maia Sandu.
In her video address on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen noted that ten years ago, the entire Ukrainian nation took to the streets and declared with one voice that Ukraine belonged in Europe. And it was precisely because of the desire of Ukrainians to choose their own path that Russian President Putin decided to launch aggression against Ukraine: first through the war in Donbas, and then through a full-scale invasion.
According to her, despite the war, Ukraine is closer than ever to the dream of a European future that people fought for on Maidan.
In her video message, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola emphasized that the courage, dedication and heroism of Ukrainians in the fight for freedom and democracy during the Revolution of Dignity and in opposing Russian aggression is an inspiration to Europeans.
She noted that the European Parliament is one of Ukraine's biggest supporters and will continue to insist that negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU begin this year.
In his video address on the occasion of the Day of Dignity and Freedom, President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda said: "Today we honor the Heavenly Hundred Heroes who paid the ultimate price for Ukraine's bright European future. We pay tribute to all the defenders who have continued to fight for Ukraine for all these ten years, and their sacrifice and dignity will never be forgotten."
He emphasized that today, despite the aggressive Russian war, Ukraine is getting closer to Europe.
"The start of accession talks this December will be another event that we all look forward to," Gitanas Nausėda said, adding that they, for their part, will do everything to help Ukraine join the EU and NATO.
In his video message, President of Poland Andrzej Duda noted that after the start of Russia's full-scale aggression, Poland called for the immediate granting of candidate status to Ukraine, and recently the European Commission recommended starting accession negotiations with Ukraine.
"This is a great success, but also a tremendous challenge. I want to assure you that Poland will stand firmly by your side and support you in your fight against the aggressor. We will help you on your way to the EU and NATO, because we want to see you in our European family as soon as possible," Andrzej Duda said.
Congratulating Ukrainians on the tenth anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity, President of the Government of Spain Pedro Sánchez said in a video message that the Ukrainian people have been defending their fundamental right to independence for the past ten years. He urged to continue the reforms necessary to join the European Union and emphasized that Ukraine would be welcome in the European family.
"We will be happy to see you in the EU and we will support Ukraine for as long as it takes," Pedro Sanchez assured.