STRASBOURG. “Today, we see the historically important results of dialogue in Europe, between Europeans. We see actions that have made Europe unprecedentedly stronger. Never yet in history was united Europe as strong as it is today. So, focus on everything that is needed to prevent the Russian terrorists from destroying our lives. This is the power of dialogue,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said to Assembly members this morning in his address to the PACE Autumn plenary session.
Together, he added, “we are isolating Russia. Together we are punishing it for the terror and making it feel the price of the war it has unleashed. Thanks to our dialogue we have very important programmes of support for Ukraine. Defence programmes, financial support, programmes to support Ukrainians, the ones who had to flee their homeland to save themselves from hostilities…”
This dialogue must continue, Mr Zelenskyy stressed, “to make Russia responsible as the aggressor state, and every Russian murderer and butcher for all the crimes of this war, for every manifestation of their terror. When legal mechanisms are created, when they start working, this will become one of the most powerful guarantees for long-term peace.” Europe can play “a historic role in creating a special tribunal for Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Let's do it. It will be the best way to protect the principles of international law,” he said.
Thanking the Ukrainian President for his intervention before the Assembly, PACE President Tiny Kox said: “the applause you just received shows how much we appreciate your courage, your determination, but also your wise words and the wisdom that you shared with us on how to bring this war to an end as soon as possible and to restore justice, national sovereignty, and the territorial integrity of your country.”
“We all consider Russia's unilateral aggression as an attack against the multilateral cooperation that is meant to protect all our citizens in Europe. That is why we try to do whatever is in our mandate to support your country and your citizens in these most challenging and dangerous times”, Mr Kox added.
STRASBOURG. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by videoconference (on Thursday at 10am CET) during its Autumn plenary session in Strasbourg from 10 to 14 October 2022. Immediately after, at 11 am CET) the Assembly will hold an urgent debate on "Political consequences of the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine".
During the PACE plenary session there will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
The 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which honours outstanding human rights defenders, will be awarded in a special ceremony, with the overall winner to be selected from among three shortlisted candidates.
The Assembly will also hold current affairs debates on "Military hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructures" and on "Threatened bans of Pride events in Council of Europe member States".
In addition, debates are foreseen on a European perspective for the Western Balkans, countering Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism, vaccine discrimination, and the impact of Brexit on human rights on the island of Ireland. The Assembly is also due to discuss the honouring of obligations and commitments by Türkiye, Hungary and Romania.
Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The Organisation’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold the usual question time with PACE members.
The Assembly is also due to debate reports on the misuse of the Schengen Information system by States as a politically-motivated sanction, discrimination against women in sport, safe third countries for asylum seekers, illegal measures of migration management in the context of pushbacks on land and sea, and revisiting labour rights.
The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign has raised €9.1 billion for people fleeing the Russian invasion, inside Ukraine and abroad, including €1 billion from the European Commission. On top of that, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an additional €1 billion in loan to cover the needs of the people displaced by the invasion.
Speaking today in Warsaw where the event was held, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The solidarity of countries, companies and people worldwide offers some light in this dark hour. The ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ campaign has raised €9.1 billion for people fleeing bombs, inside and outside Ukraine, with an additional billion pledged by the EBRD. And more will come. We will continue providing support. And once the bombs have stopped falling, we will help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country. We will continue to Stand up for Ukraine.”
Out of these €9.1 billion, €1.8 billion are for internally displaced persons in Ukraine and €7.3 billion are for hosting refugees in EU Member States and neighbouring countries.
The pledge is broken down as follows:
- €4.1 billion are financial contributions and in-kind donations for internally displaced people and refugees pledged by governments, companies and individuals around the world.
- €5 billion are loans and grants from European public financial institutions (the European Investment Bank, and the Council of Europe Development Bank).
Pledges from governments for internally displaced people in Ukraine will be now channelled largely through the Ukrainian authorities, central and local level. Donations from the private sector and individuals for internally displaced people will be channelled mainly through UN agencies.
The Stand Up For Ukraine online pledging event concludes a broader social media campaign launched by the European Commission and the Canadian Government on Saturday 26 March, in partnership with Global Citizen.
The campaign answers a call for support launched by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The aim of the campaign was to raise funding and other types of support to cater for the needs of the people fleeing the invasion inside and outside Ukraine.
In recognition of Poland’s essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine, the Stand Up For Ukraine pledging event took place in Warsaw, with the participation of President Andrzej Duda.
Source: EU neighbours east
The Russian and Ukrainian delegations arrived in Turkey's largest city Istanbul on Monday for a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks, aiming to achieve substantial progress to end the crisis.
The Russian delegation has settled in the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel while the Ukrainian delegation has checked in the Shangri-La Bosphorus, both very close to each other in the Besiktas district.
Media reports said the arrival of the Ukrainian delegation had been postponed to evening hours due to the closure of Ukrainian airspace and some logistical problems. According to the NTV broadcaster, the Ukrainian delegates had to go to a neighboring country by road to fly to Istanbul.
Tuesday's negotiations will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) at the Dolmabahce Presidential Working Office in Besiktas.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to address the delegations at the opening of the meeting.
"We will have a short meeting with the delegations tomorrow morning," Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.
So far, Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of in-person talks in Belarus, and their fourth session was in a video conference format.
Turkey, meanwhile, has increasingly accelerated its diplomatic efforts in the international arena, reiterating its policy that it is ready to play a mediator role for lasting peace in the region.
In a phone call on Sunday, Erdogan told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that a ceasefire and peace between Moscow and Kiev must be achieved as soon as possible, and the humanitarian situation in the region should be improved.
Erdogan repeated that Turkey would continue to contribute in every possible way during this process.
The "phone traffic" that he has been conducting with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is progressing in a positive direction, Erdogan said on Monday.
Turkey has been exerting significant efforts to resolve the crisis through agreement and dialogue, he said.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues on Thursday as relevant parties are working to broker a peaceful solution.
The fourth round of negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian delegations started on Monday via video link and continued into Wednesday.
According to the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the coming days.
Zelensky on Wednesday asked the United States to "do more" to help Ukraine defend itself against the ongoing military operation by Russia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey and Poland agreed to step up diplomatic efforts to end the Ukrainian crisis.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is visiting Georgia to attend Georgia's European Way, an international conference in Batumi.
During the face-to-face meeting, the parties discussed the extraordinary friendship and strategic partnership between Georgia and Ukraine.
Irakli Garibashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky examined regional security and the situation on the Black Sea.
The Prime Minister reassured the President of Ukraine of his firm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and thanked him for Ukraine's strong support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Irakli Garibashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky also discussed Russian threats and the dire consequence of occupation, a challenged shared by both countries, also emphasizing the importance of peaceful conflict-resolution.
Press Service of the Government Administration