President of Ukraine

Europe must win, agreements must be honored – address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the European Council meeting

14 December 2023 - 16:18

Europe must win, agreements must be honored – address by the President of Ukraine to the participants of the European Council meeting

Thank you so much, Mr. President!

Dear Charles, dear colleagues, greetings to you all.

Thank you for this opportunity to address you.

Today is a special day. And this day will go down in our history. Whether it’s good or bad for us, history will capture everything. Every word, every step, every action and inaction. Who fought for what.

This year, we didn’t make any mistakes. Not a single one. Europe went through this year with dignity. There was no cowardice, no indecision.

And Putin gained nothing over the year. Neither in the battles against Ukraine, nor in his attempts to divide and demean Europeans. He lost everything this year. It’s crucial that he lost not just in Ukraine, but in every aspect of European life. 

Europe maintained its unity. Europe didn’t let its people get dragged into any of the crises the Kremlin always dreams of. You all realized that now is not the time for half-measures or hesitation. Europe has made strong decisions. I am very thankful – Europe made strong decisions and implemented them effectively.

I’m grateful for such strength in Europe. 

And it’s very important that Europe doesn’t fall back into indecision today. 

Nobody wants Europe to be seen as untrustworthy. Or as unable to take decisions it prepared itself.

Dear colleagues! 

Today is the day when determination will either be in Brussels or Moscow. People in Europe won’t understand if Putin’s satisfied smile becomes the reward for a meeting in Brussels.

These days I’ve communicated to many of you. We’re talking about a decision that was promised. And I haven’t heard any counter-argument as to why we shouldn’t implement the plan agreed upon by all of Europe. All of Europe.

Last year, Ukraine received clear recommendations on how to move forward. We have passed the key laws. You all – and I emphasize: all – know well that we fulfilled every obligation.

And there was a clear schedule for the EU – today is a day for a political decision in response to what we’ve accomplished. It’s about opening accession negotiations with Ukraine. And in March next year – approving the negotiation framework for moving forward. 

No bureaucracy. Everything is very clear.

This isn’t about what politicians need. It’s about what people need. All those people in the trenches, shooting down drones and missiles every night… And all those working so children can learn even under constant Russian terror, and doctors can save lives even when Russia tries to destroy our energy or communication systems. 

Today’s decision on opening accession negotiations is also vital for all those people in EU countries who believe that Europe can avoid falling back into old times of endless fruitless disagreements between capitals.

Europe deserves to be strong. Europe’s strength is in unity and resolve. Europe deserves a dignified policy. Deserves to have agreements respected, and for people in Europe to know they won’t be deceived. 

10 years ago, in Ukraine, people rose-up under the flags of the European Union. It was a symbol of truth for them, and it should remain so.

I ask you one thing today – do not betray the people and their faith in Europe. 

If no one believes in Europe, what will keep the European Union alive?

People in Europe won’t see any benefit if Moscow receives a pass from Brussels in the form of negativity towards Ukraine. Putin will surely use this against you personally, and against all of Europe. 

Don’t give him this first – and only – victory of the year. Europe must win, agreements must be honored, and words must matter.

Thank you so much, Charles, all of you!

Слава Україні!