Brussels, May 25 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday that his country would become such an integral part of the European Union that every single ruin of the war with Russia would be rebuilt as part of a reconstruction that would showcase “Europe’s strength.”
Making a strong pitch for Ukraine’s accession to the EU, Zelenskyy addressed the bloc’s committee of the regions (CoR) through a video message.
“I am sure of one thing: Ukraine will be such a part of Europe that there will not remain a single ruin. We will recover every ruin that Russia brought (into existence) with its war. We will rebuild everything. We will do everything to make Europe’s strength obvious,” he said.
The leader said that the continent was united like never before, from the Atlantic Ocean to its eastern border, and it shared the same principles.
He added that the EU had backed Ukraine not just by offering declarations and hope, but also carrying out real actions to save people and nations from Russian expansionism.
Zelenskyy thanked the cities and communities of Europe, gathered under the umbrella of the CoR, for offering shelter to Ukrainians, and said that through this, they were supporting the idea of Europe, “our common home for all Europeans.”
The leader supported the idea of decentralization and reforms promoted by the EU, which he said were also being implemented in Ukraine.
“We have focused on the best European practices and the subsidiarity of power between the center and the communities,” he said.
“There can be different national approaches to a specific system of government in a certain country, but the main principle of respect for regions, for communities is indispensable for everyone,” the Ukrainian president added, while urging local and regional authorities to play a bigger role in his country’s reconstruction.
This was the first time Zelenskyy was addressing the CoR, during its plenary session, ahead of an international meeting over the role of European cities and regions in Ukraine’s reconstruction, set to be held in London on June 21-22.
The cost of reconstructing Ukraine is estimated to be over $410 billion according to a joint study carried out by Kyiv, the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Commission. EFE