Conflicts & War

Ukraine is Russia’s gateway to Europe, Zelenskyy tells Italian parliament

Rome, Mar 22 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday called for Western countries to apply more pressure on Russia, which he said is looking to gain a foothold in Europe through its invasion of Ukraine.

“The invasion does not stop – it is 27 days now of war and more needs to be done, more sanctions, more pressure,” Zelenskyy said during a speech to the Italian parliament via video link.

For Russia, “Ukraine is the gateway to Europe,” he said, adding that the Kremlin’s goal is to undermine the continent’s democratic and liberal values and its security.

Zelenskyy began his speech describing a conversation he had had with Pope Francis in which told the pontiff that “our people have become the army defending us now, (…) facing the enemy and defending our country”.

A total of 117 children have been killed, thousands of people have been wounded, and millions of people have had to flee their homes – many of which have been destroyed – since the invasion began on 24 February.

He compared the Mariupol port city, which has been razed to the ground, to Genoa, and urged Italian lawmakers to imagine that city being totally destroyed with its inhabitants fleeing on foot or by bus.

“Russian troops around Kyiv are killing and torturing and kidnapping children, stealing what we have, robbing everything,” he denounced.

The consequences of the war have already had an impact on countries around the world as Ukraine is one of the world’s most important food exporters, he said.

“How can we grow a harvest under artillery and bombing by the enemy? The enemy is deliberately ruining our fields. We do not know what sort of harvest we are going to have and what we are going to export,” he said.

Zelenskyy has addressed several western nations’ parliaments since the Russian invasion began last month in an attempt to drum up more international support against Moscow. EFE


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