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Zelensky: Granting Ukraine candidate status is biggest step towards strengthening Europe.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that granting Ukraine the EU candidate status is the biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could be taken in our difficult times.

The Head of State said this during a video address to the participants of the EU summit after Ukraine was granted the status of a candidate for membership.

Greetings to all our friends, all leaders-friends of Ukraine!

Greetings to all who support freedom!

That is how I began my address to the European Council on March 24, three months ago, when I urged you to support us.

And that’s quite a path we have come in these three months! All of us together: Ukraine, your states and the European Union as a whole.

This path is not politics. I believe this is what will always be the starting point of Europe's new history. Europe without division. Europe without "gray" zones. Europe that is truly united and that knows how to defend itself, its values, its future.

Today you have adopted one of the most important decisions for Ukraine in all 30 years of independence of our state.

However, I believe this decision is not only for Ukraine. This is the biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could be taken right now, in our time and in such difficult conditions, when the Russian war is testing our ability to preserve freedom and unity.

On the fifth day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, we applied to join the European Union. We provided extremely fast and high-quality answers to the questionnaire we received from the European Commission.

And here is the desired result today. Today, I would like to reaffirm that Ukraine is capable of becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union.

Then, three months ago, I addressed each country of the European Union and indicated at what stage we were, as I thought, in our relations. And today I would like to tell each and every one of you personally what our people feel, and in the same order as it was then.

Lithuania stands for us. Thank you, Mr. President! Gitanas, you know how grateful Ukraine is to your people and to you personally.

Latvia stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! I believe that together we will be able to strengthen the international legal order.

Estonia stands for us. Thank you, Mrs. Prime Minister Kallas! By helping one, we help everyone. Estonia has done a lot.

Poland stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! Your state, your people, your President - all of you on this path to Europe are truly brothers with us.

France stands for us. Thank you, Emmanuel! You can be sure that with Ukraine, Europe will really be able to be among the global leaders in the XXI century.

Slovenia stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! I am grateful for the unwavering protection of the common European cause.

Slovakia stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! We have to continue to protect each other, it makes us really strong.

The Czech Republic stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! I believe that we will also be together on the path to Ukraine's full membership in the EU.

Romania stands for us. Thank you, Mr. President! Klaus, our cooperation in the region and in European structures can indeed become one of the foundations of global stability.

Bulgaria stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! Thank you for choosing the side of good in the confrontation that began on February 24 without hesitation. We know it's not easy for you.

Greece stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! And I’m personally thankful to the Greek people, your country, which I really love.

Germany stands for us. Thank you, Olaf! Thank you for your support at a crucial moment.

Portugal stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! Your country knows our people well. And I am sure that we will only increase positive ties between us.

Croatia stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! And thank you for the help with the experience we use to protect our freedom.

Sweden stands for us. Thank you, Mrs. Prime Minister! Blue and yellow truly always stand together!

Finland stands for us. Thank you, Mrs. Prime Minister! Your willingness to resist aggression is simply amazing!

The Netherlands stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! You can be sure that your choice of Ukraine will definitely strengthen our common European freedom, the rule of law and our unity in diversity.

Malta stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! The voice of your island makes the European community complete.

Denmark stands for us. Thank you, Mrs. Prime Minister! Be sure that the protection of European values will only increase with Ukraine.

Luxembourg stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! We truly understand each other, and your energy inspires us to future victories.

Cyprus stands for us. Thank you, Mr. President! Thank you for the choice in favor of our people and our values.

Italy stands for us. Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister! Thank you for your strength, for your perseverance. Thank you for proving that the principles of decent people are truly the foundation of Europe.

Spain stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! I believe that we can significantly strengthen our relations.

Belgium stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! We hope that after our victory we will be able to see each other often in Brussels on common European affairs.

Austria stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Chancellor! I am convinced that we will be able to make Europe even safer and historically the most stable.

Ireland stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister! This is a historic rapprochement of our nations. Your personal leadership is truly impressive.

Hungary stands for us. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you, Viktor, together we are capable of much more than alone!

Mrs. President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola! We are grateful to you personally and grateful to the European Parliament! You were the first to support Ukraine's candidate status the day after our application.

Mr. President of the European Council, dear Charles, Mrs. President of the European Commission, dear Ursula, I am grateful to you both for the leadership that has led us all to this day. I am grateful for the sincere help, for the faith in Ukraine, in Ukrainians, in all of us.

I have always said that we, Ukrainians, believe in the European Union. Although we remained formally outside the European Union, our country probably had the largest number of flags of a united Europe.

They were in the hands of our people during the revolutions. They have been in the hands of our people in the trenches since 2014. I believe that the flag of the European Union will be in every Ukrainian city that we have yet to liberate from the occupation of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian and European flags will also be together when we will be rebuilding our state after this war together.

And today in the framework of our joint meeting – the summit of all European leaders, I would like to express special gratitude to our heroes - each and everyone who defends the independence of Ukraine with weapons in their hands, defends the freedom of Europe.

Thank you! Thank you for making possible a new history of Ukraine, a new history of Europe - even stronger, even freer.

Thank you all so much!

Glory to Ukraine!

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