President of Ukraine

Address of the President to the Parliament of Lithuania

12 April 2022 - 13:22

Address of the President to the Parliament of Lithuania

Dear Mrs. Speaker, Mrs. Viktorija, I remember your visit to Kyiv, one of the first since the beginning of this war.

Dear Mr. President, friend Gitanas, you have been to Ukraine many times, you and I have done a lot together. I'm sure we will do even more!

Dear Mrs. Prime Minister, Mrs. Ingrida, I am grateful to you for your visit yesterday...

Dear Lithuanian people!

I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today on behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, who will always remember your sincerity and readiness to support us at the most difficult time for our country.

You were among the first to come to the aid of Ukraine. And you remain among those who care most about peace and security of Europe.

Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has posed a strategic question to Europe: are the values that underlie the unification of nations on the European continent after World War II still alive?

Or the values have already played their part and can become exhibits in museums for tourists? Just part of Europe's historical heritage somewhere in the halls of ancient palaces, not something that defines real life.

Unfortunately, there is no common answer to this question for all Europeans.

But the future of Europe depends on this - whether there will be a common answer.

In the liberated areas of Ukraine, work continues to record and investigate war crimes committed by the Russian Federation.

Almost every day new mass graves are found. Evidence is being gathered.

Thousands and thousands of victims. Hundreds of cases of brutal torture. Human corpses are still found in manholes and basements. Tied up, mutilated bodies.

There are villages - once quite large, which were left almost without inhabitants.

Hundreds of children are orphans. That is, at least hundreds of children, because we do not know the exact number of victims yet.

Hundreds of cases of rape have been recorded, including underage girls, very young children... And even a baby! It's just scary to talk about it now.

But it's true, it happened.

Even this person, this Russian savage Bychkov from Pskov is identified. The paratrooper or special services officer who sent this video to his comrades. Video of what he does to the baby. How he torments the baby!

This is the Russian military. "Defender" of children. This is a "special operation" planned in Moscow. This is the story of the struggle for the "Russian world". This is what the Russian army and Russian paratroopers will now be associated with. From Pskov.

Rape of a baby…

Russian propagandists have apparently already begun to justify this. They will probably say, as always, that this did not happen, or even if it did happen, it was the protection of "Russian-speakers." And propagandists will also be responsible for this crime, as well as for any such crime. Including those who educate such paratroopers. From Pskov.

And including those in Europe who still do not remove Russian propaganda from television.

And I wonder how do the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation and other authors of this "special operation" evaluate its results now? After such crimes.

After such a "feat" of the Russian soldier Bychkov?

Maybe the Russian Minister of Defense will invite such Pskov paratroopers to his home to protect his children and grandchildren? Or the minister wouldn’t want that?

I'm sure he'll be scared.

Everywhere in Ukraine where the occupiers came, along the roads, in yards, parks, gardens, there is a burial of people whose bodies could not be taken to cemeteries.

And all this is within a period of several weeks of Russian occupation. About a month. In the areas around our capital, in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions, in the north of our state.

The whole world remembered the name of the city of Bucha. But this is just one symbol of the crimes of the Russian military.

You can take any other city from those where they managed to gain a foothold for a while, any village... The occupiers did the same thing there as in Bucha.

And what is in the east of our country, where Russian troops still remain? What is in the south? We cannot even imagine what is in Mariupol and Volnovakha, which were almost destroyed by the Russian army.

Obviously, it's even scarier there.

Russian officials and state propagandists deny crimes committed by their army. They say it's a staging. They lie in response to even the obvious facts that convince everyone in the world.

However, no wonder. They always did it. But they have changed their tactics in areas where the Russian troops still remain.

Corpses are no longer left on the streets there. They are taken out and probably burned.

There are mass deportations of people from the occupied areas. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been deported. They are placed in special filtration camps. Documents are taken away from them. They are interrogated and humiliated. It is unknown how many are killed.

Many deportees are distributed in the regions of Russia and banned from leaving.

Obviously, all this is an attempt to get rid of witnesses to Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Is it possible that the Russian military has done and is doing so without orders from the high command? Impossible. Is it possible that the Russian political leadership is not aware of the consequences of such orders? Impossible.

But this is happening on our Ukrainian land. Why?

The answer is very cynical. They are confident of impunity. They are sure that they will be able to make the world forget it. They are sure Europe will forget this or Europe's claims can simply be brushed aside.

They have a simple, ordinary logic. Like, everyone needs to trade. Everyone needs oil. Everyone needs gas. Everyone will want to use Russian territory for the transit of their goods. Everyone will want to use the Russian market, the big market. That's what Moscow thinks.

Of course, if everyone in Europe were as principled and respected the values of Europe as you do in Lithuania, and we are proud of you, I am sure that the Russian leadership would not hope that they would go unpunished. Probably, this war would not have begun. They would not have dared to make a decision to start it.

But what do we see?

The European Union is discussing the sixth - I emphasize: the sixth package of sanctions against Russia for the war unprecedented since World War II, and it is still unknown whether oil will be subject to sanctions.

Even after seeing massacres in Bucha and other cities, even knowing about the deportations of people, even watching the deliberate destruction of peaceful cities by Russian missiles and air bombs - some EU countries cannot decide when they will at least significantly limit the purchase of Russian energy.

Hundreds of European companies and banks have not only not yet refused to operate in the Russian market, but are also showing outright contempt in response to demands to stop financing Russia's military machine through their taxes and excise taxes.

And all this is happening right now - when the blood is still fresh. What does this indicate?

If oil is being seriously discussed only for the sixth package of sanctions, then the world does not realize what war Russia was preparing for. If there is still no clear decision on Russian gas, there can be no certainty that Europe has a common will to stop Russian war crimes. To force Russia to seek peace.

If there are large European companies and large European banks, which even in the midst of hostilities in Ukraine do not consider it necessary to withdraw from the Russian market, it means that all other companies will take this as a signal: wait, wait a bit and then you can work as usual, even if nothing changes significantly in Russia's behavior.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Dear Lithuanian people!

I am grateful to you for the leadership. For being the first to abandon Russian energy now. When it is really necessary.

I am grateful to you, Gitanas, for the important decision. For being the first to give us real help, to give us weapons. Stingers and more.

It was a historic manifestation of leadership. After all, the Lithuanian people, like no other, understand how the occupiers can destroy freedom and at what cost the independence is rebuilt then, which you have done exemplary.

This is exactly the kind of leadership the whole continent needs now to truly save and uphold common values that are undoubtedly important for Europe.

To prove that the common values of freedom, human rights, respect for state borders and prevention of a war of invasion are in fact alive, not something outdated and worthy of a museum only.

When the continent thought primarily of selfish interests, rather than of what should unite everyone, this has always led to terrible times for Europe as a whole. Discord, outbreaks of revanchism, wars - this is definitely not what Europeans need in the 21st century.

But this is what Russia is trying to bring back.

The Russian state must be responsible for this war. Russian officials and military commanders, all those guilty of war crimes, must be held accountable. All organizers and perpetrators of deportation must be held accountable. Russia must be deprived of any opportunity to terrorize its neighbors.

It's not just about us, it's not just about Ukraine! The real Russian plans are obvious to everyone. Ukraine is just the beginning. Next, God forbid, but next is your state, other Baltic states, Moldova, Georgia, Poland, Central Asian states. Threats are already being heard from Moscow against Finland and Sweden.

How will Europe be able to stop Russia's further expansion if it is not yet able to stop even what is happening in Ukraine now?

Although I know that Lithuania is already doing everything one hundred percent to protect Europe's values, freedom and security for Europeans, it is important that the whole of Europe works one hundred percent.

Every effort must be made to ensure that Europe's response to Russian aggression is truly strong and truly consolidated.

We cannot wait for the elaboration of the seventh or eighth or ninth, tenth, twentieth package of sanctions against Russia in order to make really powerful decisions. We must do everything necessary now - in the sixth package of sanctions. The European Union can do that. And it must do that. It must include oil there. It must impose sanctions on Russian banks - on all of them, not part. No demonstrations needed.

Specific deadlines must finally be set for each EU state in order to really abandon or at least significantly limit the consumption of Russian gas, oil, etc.

Only then will the Russian leadership come to the conclusion that real peace must be sought. That war is a catastrophe first of all for them.

We have already achieved a lot at the bilateral level. True understanding. True allied relations based not just on interests, but on values and on our common historical path.

We will only strengthen our cooperation in the original format of the Lublin Triangle. This will definitely be the basis for a new security configuration in the Baltic-Black Sea region.

Ukraine is also grateful to all our friends in the European Union for starting the accelerated procedure for our country to obtain the status of a candidate for EU membership. We are especially grateful to the Republic of Lithuania.

Successfully completing the procedure in the near future is also a must to show Russia that the war will not break either you or the whole of Europe.

And when peace finally comes - and I am sure it will come very soon if everyone in Europe is truly principled - we will be able to quickly and demonstratively rebuild Ukraine after this war.

I invite your society, your companies, your state to join the project of reconstruction of Ukraine. The reconstruction, which will be the most convincing argument for all those who still have doubts about Europe. About its future. About its potential.

Life must win the war. Values must win the war. Europe must win the war. And we will win.

I am grateful to each of you!

I am grateful to the Lithuanian people!

Glory to Ukraine!