The Ukrainians have been fighting for everything for more than six months now. They are fighting for their lives, for the lives of their families and of their friends. They are doing what they can to withstand Russia’s aggression, not only to defend their inherent right to peace and freedom but also our European peaceful order.
During these terrible months between hope and fear, people in Ukraine have also relied on our help. I have come to Kyiv today to show that they can continue to count on us. That we will continue to stand by Ukraine as long as necessary – supplying weapons as well as humanitarian and financial support.
However, life continues in the midst of this war. We are assisting in the clearance of mines and warfare agents so that there is at least some protection where it was possible to push back Russian troops. In the areas where treacherous weapons continue to pose a daily threat to the lives of children, women and families, the projects we support are providing a little more freedom and security. To ensure that war crimes do not go unpunished, we are helping to investigate them by, among other things, seconding experts which include a public prosecutor.
It is clear to me that Putin is banking on us growing tired of sympathising with Ukraine’s suffering. He thinks he can divide our societies with lies and blackmail them with energy supplies. And that he can drain us of the energy to defend ourselves against this brutal attack on all the values we share. These tactics must not and will not succeed. Because all of Europe knows that Ukraine is defending our peaceful order.