Odesa, 9 May 2022
As we speak, war rages again in Europe. War from another century, a hegemonic war where one state, Russia, has invaded a neighbouring sovereign state, Ukraine. Where your schools, hospitals and cities are bombed. Where your people are tortured, raped and executed in cold blood. But also where your people are resisting with courage, like this little boy I met a couple of weeks ago in Borodyanka. He told me how he went through the atrocities he witnessed when their city was occupied by the Russian army.
The Kremlin wants to “execute” your spirit of freedom and democracy. But I’m totally convinced they will never succeed. I have come to Odesa on Europe Day with one simple message: You are not alone. We stand with you. We will not let you down. We will be with you for as long as it takes.
And we will help you to build a modern, democratic country. A forward-looking country, ready to embrace with confidence your European future, our common European future, your place in our common European family. I also have a message for my fellow citizens across the European Union: Our peace, our prosperity, the future of our children – they are also at stake here in Odessa. Here in Ukraine.
Long live Europe.