Dear Mrs. President,
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
People of Slovenia!
It is an honor for me to address you in such a special format. And, by the way, now I am near the frontline, so my words in this address are strengthened by the emotions and hopes that our defenders shared with me.
I am grateful to all the countries of the European Union in which such appeals of mine took place. We know that Russia tried to disrupt them, tried to use its various connections - political, diplomatic, even business. In Moscow they understand that they have nothing to oppose such trust between the people of Ukraine and Europe and such communication activity with.
Therefore, they threatened Europeans, manipulated those who depend on them. But this is already the twenty-fourth parliament of the twenty-seven countries of the European Union, and I want to congratulate you on this obvious evidence that Russia has lost its influence in the European Union. The fact remains the following: most of the countries of the European Union cannot be ruled by Russia. And this is a new political reality in Europe, which we achieved together - every country that stood up for the defense of our common freedom.
Everything we said about ourselves became our actions to protect ourselves and our democratic way of life. We don't just enjoy freedom, we have made its defense a key goal of our anti-war coalition. We have not just achieved a new unity on the European continent, but are taking new and strong security, political and economic steps on its basis. And legal steps are next, namely: bringing Russian war criminals to justice.
Most importantly, by going through this terrible challenge of the Russian war together, we prove that European values do not remain just a reference to old treaties and conventions, do not serve as formal criteria only at the level of rhetoric, but are the real basis of life on the continent here and now.
And every country of the united Europe made its contribution to this. Not only those who occupy a large area on the map and who are used to attending the summits of the "great". A free Europe is the result of the principles of all, and in particular those who do not have significant military or economic resources to resist Russian pressure, but who can fight thanks to their honesty and brave heart. Today I want to thank you, friends. I want to thank the entire Slovenian people, for your honesty and for your brave heart.
A little more than two weeks ago, the European Council endorsed the decision to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for joining the European Union. And this is one of those powerful political steps based on our new unity that strengthens us all on the continent. I am very grateful to you, Slovenia, for supporting us, supporting our candidacy. No one can say now how long our path from application to full membership will take, but we all know that the dream of a peaceful, free and stable Europe will not be realized without Ukraine as part of the European Union. And these are not just words, but another fact that will forever remain a fact.
That is why Russia started a large-scale offensive on Europe from Ukraine, because Moscow is fully aware of the importance of Ukraine for the European project. And that is why Russia will inevitably lose, because Europe will not be split up, divided into pieces - as it was before. The eastern border of Europe is now equal to the eastern border of Ukraine, and one day, I believe soon, our eastern border will be marked: the territory of the European Union.
In Moscow, they say that they are not enemies of Europe. The Russian leadership uses various propaganda theses to justify itself. But let's look at their actions. Who are they hitting?
Russia hit the Europeans with the gas crisis - and for the second year in a row, it is deliberately making efforts to ensure that European gas storage facilities remain unfilled before winter. Russia has driven gas prices in Europe to an all-time high – deliberately limiting supply in defiance of market rules. What did it lead to? Catastrophic inflation. If there were no such prices for energy resources, there would be no such painful consequences for the majority of people in Europe.
Russia is also preparing another strike - migration. When the Russian fleet blocked our ports, it was a deliberate decision not just against Ukraine, but against everyone in the world who depends on food imports. And you can already see the consequences. But this is only the beginning, because without our food it will not be possible to stabilize the world market, save the countries of Africa and Asia from hunger. If there is a famine there, it means you will see new migrants on the territory of the EU. Millions of new migrants.
I gave only a few examples from the wide palette of Russia's anti-European actions. If the Russian leadership really sought to weaken someone other than Europe, as they claim, then Moscow would not hit the wallets of the residents of even those European countries that tried to be friendly to Russia to the last, and would not try to break the internal social stability of European countries.
But thanks to cooperation with Ukraine, the European Union can protect itself, in particular, from such challenges. I will give you a few more examples.
Our country joined the unified European energy system. We have a significant surplus in the production of electricity even now, when Russian marauders are dismantling and taking away solar power plants from the occupied regions of Ukraine, and have significantly limited our coal generation by their actions. We started exporting electricity to Romania and Slovakia - at a price that is significantly lower than the prices in the EU. We can quickly increase exports by ten or more times - and this will allow Ukrainian electricity to replace a significant part of European imports of Russian gas. Thanks to our electricity, all European neighbors of Ukraine can get a new energy stability, and therefore a decrease in energy prices in Europe.
Let's not forget about the Ukrainian gas storage facilities - the most convenient for our region, large in volume, and therefore able to strengthen the European gas market and make the European Union more prepared for winter seasons.
It is the same with agricultural production. Even this year, during a full-scale war, the Ukrainian harvest of grain and oil crops will reach tens of millions of tons. For example, without Ukrainian corn, meat production in Europe and the world suffers - and therefore prices rise. Without our wheat and sunflower oil, there will be shortages in many countries - and therefore prices will rise. I emphasize once again: Russia deliberately blocked our exports in order to worsen the price crisis, to make it catastrophic, including for Europeans.
But together with our partners in the European Union - at the level of Brussels and neighboring countries - we are creating new export routes. And the more such green corridors for Ukrainian food through the territory of the EU are created, the sooner we will guarantee protection for the south of Europe from new waves of migration, and therefore guarantee the preservation of internal social stability in the EU countries.
Colossal opportunities also open up from the integration of our country into the digital market of the European Union - the business world is well aware of the potential of Ukrainian IT specialists. Industrial cooperation with us, as well as the joint implementation of the project of the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, can give the whole of Europe such an economic boost that will have historical weight and will be remembered in the same way as the implementation of the Marshall Plan after World War II. And I invite your country, as well as Slovenian companies and specialists, to join the reconstruction of Ukraine. The volume of work is already about a trillion dollars.
And, of course, security. Can anyone now imagine Europe reliably protected from aggression without Ukrainian heroes? Russian tyranny wants to regain control over all the countries it could once reach. And in order for all the capitals from Ljubljana to Helsinki to feel safe, Ukraine must withstand, preserve one hundred percent of its sovereignty, recover from this war and become a long-term guarantor of Europe's security against Russian revanchism. In order to get to you, they have to get through us, and therefore everyone in Europe is interested in Ukraine winning and being a part of common security formats with the Europeans.
We are not going to delay. Ukraine realized its strength. You realized our strength. And this is our historical responsibility - of all leaders working in Europe today - to ensure maximum integration of Ukraine into the European Union. We must become a full member of the EU thanks to the fact that we share common values and for the full realization of the potential of our cooperation in many fields.
Your writer, Rudi Kerševan, has some very apt words that perfectly describe the current situation: "We enrich our lives not with things that have a price, but with things that have value." Starting from February 24, Europe focused precisely on what has value, and in a few months this gave progress that had not been seen in decades. Europe is united as never before. Europe has greater agency than ever. Europe has a future that will provide stability like never before. But all this is possible only together with Ukraine. And I believe that when the time comes for the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, we will ensure that our relations reach another fundamental level - the level of a positive result in the negotiations regarding Ukraine's membership in the EU.
Thank you for your attention!
Skupaj bomo zmagali!
Glory to Ukraine!