President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy together with President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola talked to the student community of higher education institutions of Lviv region.
Students of the Hetman Petro Sahaidachny National Army Academy, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Stepan Gzhytskyi National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies of Lviv, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, and Lviv National Environmental University attended the meeting, which took place at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
The Head of State said that he is always pleased to communicate with students because Ukraine owes its independence to students in many ways.
"In the past, it was a struggle for independence in difficult conditions during our revolutions and gaining this independence. These days, when the full-scale invasion began, there was an active mobilization of students," the President said.
Zelenskyy expressed his belief that after Ukraine's victory over Russia, the future will be in the hands of current students, their vigor and creative minds, which our country will need so much for recovery.
Talking to the youth, Zelenskyy said that the start of the full-scale war on February 24, 2022, was a turning point for the country and him personally.
"It was the internal position – to defend the state, no matter what the cost. Stand to the end and win," he said.
According to the President, it was on that terrible day that Ukrainians became a united, strong nation.
Asked how Ukraine can continue living next to such an aggressive neighbor as Russia, the Head of State said that the full EU and NATO membership would ensure the civilizational and security protection of our country.
"Besides, we will be the winning country. And we will be subject. It is very important to change the paradigm that has existed for many years. We are making Ukraine a powerful subject in Europe so that it is not said that Ukraine is somewhere near Russia, but so that everyone says that Russia is somewhere near Ukraine," Zelenskyy said.
The President also said that because of the war, our country faced the need to renovate the educational network, primarily in the affected regions. In his opinion, the educational space and educational process in Ukraine should become more modern.
"Education should be what you want to go to – with your mind and your feet. It is necessary to have an attractive infrastructure. The level of the teaching staff is also important," Zelenskyy said.
For her part, Metsola said that she started her political career as a student activist, and noted that even in such hard times, there is nothing better than studying in powerful educational institutions with a rich history.
According to her, in the period of such trials, it is very important to have in charge of the state people with principles, vision, ideas and, most importantly, love for their country and people.
Metsola expressed her belief that Ukraine will become a member of the European Union.
"Europe and the EU are your home too," she said.
The President of the European Parliament assured that Europe would stand with Ukraine until its victory in the war.
"And only Ukraine can decide when the war will end. We cannot talk about peace without justice, without freedom, without sovereignty and territorial integrity," Metsola said.