The following address by the President of Ukraine to both Houses of the Parliament of the Czech Republic was provided by the Embassy of Ukraine in Seoul for publication.—Ed.
Address by the President of Ukraine to both houses of the Parliament of the Czech Republic:
Dear Mr. President of the Senate!
Dear Madam President of the Chamber of Deputies!
Dear Prime Minister, members of the government!
Dear members of the parliament, attendees, journalists!
Dear Czech people!
First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to address both houses of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and absolutely all Czechs in this format today.
I would like to thank you for those warm words, strong words of support for our people, me personally, our state, which were heard here today, and for the warmth with which you shelter our forcibly displaced persons. We appreciate it, it's truly historical. I am grateful to you for this personally and on behalf of every Ukrainian.
I was thinking how to begin my speech. I will begin with words that each of you knows for sure and that all Europeans who respect history and freedom on our continent know for sure: Jsme s vámi, buďte s námi!
These are words of extraordinary importance. They had such importance when they sounded on Czech radio in 1968, supporting the resistance. They are extremely important now as well, when - recalling them - we are talking about those who fought for freedom for your people.
But, in fact, these words have one more dimension. Now, when the Ukrainian people are fighting for freedom against the brutal Russian invasion, we can say that it is with these words that we, Ukrainians, address all the peoples of Europe, all the peoples of the democratic world.
We are with you, be with us!
We oppose tyranny, which - as in the past - does not want to stop only in Ukraine. It considers everyone in Europe its target, all those who live a free life. Russia is not interested only in our cities of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Kharkiv, Odesa and Kyiv. No. Its ambitions are focused on the vast space from Warsaw to Sofia, from Prague to Tallinn.
And as in the past, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is only the first step that the Russian leadership needs to open the way to other countries, to the conquest of other nations. This is openly said not only by Russian state propagandists, but also by Russian officials. They have already reached the point, for example, of threatening to officially revoke the recognition of the Baltic states' independence. And then what’s next? Who is next?
Ladies and Gentlemen!
When Ukraine appeals to European countries for support, we are guided by this principle, by these words that have become one of the foundations of your history: we are with you, be with us.
Russian tanks storming the cities of the Ukrainian Donbas, trying to attack the Ukrainian Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, must be stopped and burned or expelled from the territory of independent Ukraine. So that they can never again come to Prague, or to Ostrava, or to Brno, or to Pilsen, or to Karlovy Vary, or to any other city on our continent. It is in Ukraine that the battle for the future of Europe is taking place right now.
I am very grateful to your state, to your people for the generous help in this struggle. The Czech Republic helped us both with weapons - very substantively and immediately after it became necessary - and politically. I thank the leadership of the state for that. You can be sure that you have supported yourself and your own freedom, your own life with that. And support must be maintained for as long as it takes to win. This is how this confrontation must end - with victory.
And even if some politicians in some countries are afraid of the possibility that freedom will win and tyranny will lose, there are no your leaders among such politicians. The Czech people are well aware of how compromises at the expense of others end and what concessions to tyranny lead to, which proposes to take away only the supposedly part of the desired territory to pretend that the aggression has stopped. He who wants to capture everything will never stop, taking only part. I urge you to continue together with us, without stopping for a moment, to convince all those who have not yet managed to choose a clear side in this confrontation, which has been going on for 112 days already, of this simple truth.
Ukraine must get everything to win. Modern and powerful enough weapons - the Prime Minister talked about that today - to get advantage over the Russian army. Financial support - to have resources against Russia, whose savings and revenues are still very significant - in 100 days of this war since February 24 Russia has already earned 93 billion euros on the sale of energy only.
Ukraine must also receive fundamental support of values that will finally deprive Russia of its main ideological weapon, namely the assertion that Europe is incapable of real unification and that it does not need Ukraine.
In the near future, we must receive an answer from the European Union - from all member states - to the question of Ukraine's status. Providing Ukraine with the candidacy right now is proving that European unification is real and that European values really work and are not just defined in certain documents as a beautiful formality.
The Russian troops are well aware that they are fighting against European values, against the fact that any free people of Europe who share common European values can become part of the European Union. This is the ideological firmware of the Russian occupiers.
So strengthening Europe's union and saying “yes” to Ukraine is also a defense in this war. This will be another historical manifestation of the meaning contained in the words: we are with you, be with us.
That is why I ask you to be as active as possible these days, these weeks, so that all European leaders agree that defending and strengthening Europe is our common cause, and so that no one can make an exception to this principle.
The fateful Czech “eights” - 1938, 1948, 1968 - are comprehensive answers to all those who still want to "pacify" the aggressor by betraying European values and weakening Europe.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Dear Czech people!
The Czech presidency of the European Union will begin in a few weeks. And at this time there will be no less challenges before us, before the whole of Europe, than now. But they are transforming.
I very much appreciate the key attention paid to Ukraine in the priorities of the Czech presidency. We have to agree on the seventh package of sanctions against Russia for this aggression, for this war. And we also have to substantively move on to the reconstruction of Ukraine - of the entire liberated territory.
When you, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Petr, visited our capital in March, you became one of the first European leaders to boldly show that Europe is and will be with Ukraine. And I believe that the Czech Republic will be among the leaders in the implementation of the largest economic and infrastructural project of our time - the Ukrainian reconstruction. This is a special opportunity to show all the strength of Europe - technological, institutional, creative.
We must ensure full synchronization of the Ukrainian National Reconstruction Plan and the European Reconstruction Platform in order to implement them as efficiently and quickly as possible. I also invite you to join the reconstruction of Ukraine at the national level - taking patronage over one of the regions or cities, or communities, towns of Ukraine, which suffered from Russian aggression. Such a reconstruction will be the best proof that no aggression, no matter how brutal, will ever achieve its goals and be ever able to break any of the European nations, let alone Europe as a whole.
I am grateful to you for the sincere and full support of our people, our Ukrainian temporarily displaced persons. You have sheltered hundreds of our people fleeing the war on your land. Thousands of people live in your homes, receive help from your families. We must do everything so that each and every one of them can return home, return to Ukraine.
We can come - and we will come - to the fact that the principle of following the rule: "Jsme s vámi, buďte s námi!" - will have a result that can be described in other important words - in the words of Václav Havel: "Truth and love have to overcome lies and hatred." Unfortunately, this has often failed in the history of Europe. But now, in 2022, in Ukraine and, most importantly, together - we can ensure this so powerfully that the fruits of our victory will be enjoyed by many generations of our nations.
Děkuji vám! Ať žije Česko!
Glory to Ukraine!