Honorable Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine!
Dear Mr. Prime Minister!
Dear people’s deputies!
Dear members of the Ukrainian Government!
Dear Ukrainian nation, fellow Ukrainians!
Today is a historic day. Iryna Stepanivno, today it may happen that your birthday will coincide with a unique, fateful voting in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, when the movement of Ukraine to the European Union, Ukraine's movement to the North Atlantic Alliance will be consolidated in the Constitution as a foreign political landmark.
Yesterday in Brussels, North Macedonia received a protocol of accession to the North Atlantic Alliance. There will be 30 such members of the Alliance. North Macedonia's path was extremely difficult, but the country demonstrated unity, ruined the plans of Russia that tried to stop this extremely important move to security, strengthening of European security, and the doors of NATO have become open to the 30th country.
Yesterday, the European Commission decided to start negotiations on the membership of North Macedonia in the European Union - and this is another demonstration of how these processes are interrelated: NATO and the EU.
It is very important that NATO is about security. Not only military security, not only a fundamental change in the geopolitical map of the world. This is also about security of a citizen - security on the streets, protection of the constitutional rights and freedoms of a citizen, the rule of law. And this is what unites us today with regard to changes in legislation and reforms in our beloved Ukraine.
I emphasize that this is also related to the accession to the EU, Ukraine's compliance with the criteria necessary for membership. And this also includes protection of the living standards of a Ukrainian citizen. Reforms mean protecting people.
Of course, 9-10 years ago, calls for multiple vectors were heard in this hall, irresponsible calls for non-alignment. I want to remind everyone that in February 2014 Russian aggression began when Russia attacked Ukraine, which had a non-aligned status. It didn’t save us from anything.
And now we have to move forward resolutely, along the road to membership in the EU and NATO. A great friend of Ukraine and a great friend of mine Jens Stoltenberg said this week that NATO's doors are open to any country that is capable of reforming and ensuring the fulfillment of the goals of the Washington Treaty.
This is exactly about Ukraine. For the past five years, we have been doing that.
We are reforming the defense and security sector. We are reforming the army. And the role of the Verkhovna Rada in this process is difficult to overestimate.
And when it was difficult, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine rejected the political confrontation and united. And it is unity that Ukraine needs today, it is unity that is needed during our historic voting. I am convinced that this unity will be demonstrated.
I want to emphasize that now, right now during the live broadcast, developments in the Verkhovna Rada are very closely monitored in the Kremlin.
Dream on! You will not rejoice today. And the Verkhovna Rada today will demonstrate the unity that has been demonstrated over the last four years. Millions of Ukrainians are also watching the course of our vote in the Verkhovna Rada on TV. I am convinced, friends, you will have pleasant news today.
I am confident that we will continue our joint efforts to reform Ukraine. I am confident that the tasks of membership in the European Union and NATO are absolutely real.
Just as we have demonstrated the achievement of other goals that few people have believed, our joint efforts will ensure Ukraine's membership in NATO, membership in the EU. We are going our way and this is the way to Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO.
Thank you. I call for unity.
Glory to Ukraine!