President of Ukraine

Together, we can make sure that Russia does not win, and we will do it – President's speech at the special plenary session of the Storting of Norway

13 December 2023 - 22:01

Together, we can make sure that Russia does not win, and we will do it – President's speech at the special plenary session of the Storting of Norway

Churchill was here. So we will win. Because the enemy is the same. 

It’s a great honor to be here. Thank you so much for your big support for our people, our country, our men and women, our children. They are very strong because we have such strong friends, Norway, thank you so much!

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your kind words.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Parliament, Mr. Prime Minister, esteemed journalists, and all guests!

Dear people of Norway!

It’s an honor to address the Norwegian Parliament and people for the second time, and now in person. I’m here to personally thank you for the incredible support Norway has given Ukraine. Protecting against aggression is always about saving lives, lives that could be lost to an enemy’s destruction, cruelty, and deportation. And we are saving lives. Together with you. And thanks to you. I thank you, Norway!

I’m reminded of a phrase well-known in Norway that resonates with our feelings, especially on February 24th… Why it wasn’t a triumph of Russian aggression but of the unity of different countries and people for freedom. The phrase goes, “Sure, we were not many / But we were enough”. And it’s so true! 

On February 24th and in the early weeks of the full-scale war, there weren’t many leaders or countries who believed that freedom could stand up to Russia. We had less weaponry, a smaller army, but enough courage. And we stood firm! The world eventually understood who we are and who is with us. And Norway did not hesitate and stood with us from the first hours – with your hearts, minds, and aid. There weren’t many at the time, but we were enough to change the world. Enough to make the world believe in the power of freedom and hope for victories in such a cruel war.

Ladies and gentlemen! People of Norway!

I had addressed you for the first time on the 35th day of the full-scale war. Today is the 658th day.

It’s been a colossal way, but we still have a way to go to protect freedom and ensure our people’s and Europe’s security. We need the world’s attention and support now as much as ever. Why? Because while we now have effective weapons, we still lack enough to fight this war on conditions of freedom, not those dictated by the enemy. The world majority now sees Russian aggression as a crime. But Putin has found buddies in Iran and North Korea, receiving weapons that kill our people. Unfortunately, dictatorships supply Russia more regularly than many democracies supply Ukraine. A million artillery shells from Pyongyang to Putin – it’s happening. And I thank everyone in Europe who helps us withstand this pressure and supports us precisely as needed – enough to protect freedom and rules-based world order. We now know how to inflict painful losses on Russia, which might eventually bring them to a sober reality. But…

But it’s the 658th day, and sadly, not everyone can stay focused on defending freedom for so long. Yesterday, I was in the United States. You all know the challenges with supporting our defense here in Europe. The potential weakening or interruption of American leadership in defending the free world inspires dictators at the mere possibility. Putin might enter the new year in high spirits. And it wouldn’t be Ukraine’s fault. 

That’s why I’m so grateful to you, Norway. To all our partners in the region.

You’ve maintained your attention on Ukraine, just like at the war’s start. You wish for our victory and care about our people’s fate. You helped us last winter when Russia tried to destroy our energy infrastructure and make Ukrainians freeze to death. And you’re helping us now against new missile attacks. You are doing this without delays. 

Russia hasn’t succeeded, and we can continue to prevent their victories. We will do it.

Norway was the first to approve a long-term support program for us, for our families, for Ukraine, setting an example for other nations. Today, in Oslo, we had the Nordic plus Ukraine Summit. I’ve heard that our regional partners’ support is becoming long-term. Huge step. I’m thankful! 

And it’s not just about sending the right signal to Moscow – that Ukraine won’t be left unsupported. It’s about the right signal to our people, to our soldiers, everyone in Ukraine fighting and working for freedom. This is important for people’s motivation and not only in Ukraine. The whole world is witnessing – how we fight, what we can do compared what the enemy of freedom can do. 

I’m proud of the Ukrainian warriors and our people – brave men and women who have done extraordinary things. Ukraine has reclaimed 50% of the territories Russia took after February 24th. We’ve won the Black Sea, restoring free navigation in our waters – thanks, in particular, to your NASAMS, Harpoons and other support. We are struggling to get the badly needed air defense to control the sky – and to win the sky the way we won the Black Sea. And once the sky is under our control, we will keep regaining our land, step by step the occupied territory… Ukraine defends itself for the same reasons you wouldn’t tolerate the enemy. Ukraine will protect itself because we have the right to live freely, just like all other nations. Ukraine stands firm in this fight not only because of our character but because we, like you, the people of Norway, and all who help us, perceive freedom the same way. The 21st century should not be a time for dictators to triumph. And it won’t be. We must do enough for this!

Anyone who visits Norway immediately sees that life and people are the winners. That’s how your country is organized, with respect for life and people. When you say words they are not hollow. When you give promises you deliver on them. When you see injustice you act. These are the principles that underpin freedom. And if you are brave, maybe it’s not many, but enough to win. 

Thank you, Norway! 

Слава Україні!