This year brought horrific suffering to the people of Ukraine, with Russia’s brutal war of aggression:
Women and men murdered in cold blood in Bucha.
Missiles hitting playgrounds and schools.
Children hiding for hours in bomb shelters.
But this year also stands for something else: the incredible courage of Ukrainians in defending their freedom.
Ukrainian soldiers pushing back the aggressor.
Ukrainian engineers repairing power lines and water pipes in record time – day and night.
And Ukrainian diplomats, all of you, working so effectively in gathering support for your country, for your people, and in calling out Russia’s blatant crimes.
You all made a great difference – and you have my deepest respect.
Dmytro, you reinvented diplomacy – making it clear that, faced with a choice between justice and injustice, between freedom and aggression, neutrality is not an option.
Let me assure you that Germany and its partners will continue to stand side by side with you and the people of Ukraine, during this winter and beyond:
With more weapons and more financial and humanitarian support – for as long as it takes.
Because your fight is about the freedom of your people – but also about the future of all of us in Europe.
Together, we are stronger than this war.