Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech to the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday. The appointment, made by videoconference, summoned the deputies and senators of the North American country in a special session. “How can this massive and unprecedented aggression be explained?” Zelensky asked lawmakers about the Moscow-orchestrated offensive. “We want to live. We want victory,” the president said.
Zelensky’s participation was a direct invitation from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The President of Ukraine addressed MEPs on March 1; a week later he did so in front of the British Parliament. Trudeau said he saw “a friend” in Zelensky. “Volodimir, I have known you for years and have always considered you a defender of democracy. And now democracies around the world are lucky to have you as their advocate,” he said. “Your courage and that of your people inspires us all. You defend the right of Ukrainians to choose their own future. And in doing so, you uphold the values that are the pillars of all free and democratic countries,” he added.
Trudeau highlighted the contribution of the Ukrainian Canadian community in different spheres. Canada has the second largest diaspora in this country (only behind Russia). In the last census, about 1.4 million people said they had Ukrainian roots. Volodymyr Zelensky: “I would like you to understand, as much as possible, our feelings and emotions over the past 20 days. Imagine hearing the gunshots, the explosions. Zelensky continued, “Imagine Ottawa’s airport being bombed like ours is bombed. Imagine the city of Vancouver besieged like Mariupol. How do you explain all this to your children?
The Ukrainian President thanked the assistance provided so far by the Canadian government and members of the Ukrainian diaspora. However, he said his country needed more support. Zelensky stressed that a greater effort is needed so that Russia cannot continue to finance its war operations; He also reiterated his request to do everything possible to “close the airspace to Russian missiles and planes”.
Candice Bergen, the interim leader of the Conservative Party, has sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying his plans failed to take human suffering into account. He also said Canada had a moral obligation to continue supporting Ukraine and called on the Trudeau government to work with its allies to secure “at least the airspace above the humanitarian corridors.”
Lawmakers applauded Volodymyr Zelensky for several minutes and shouted in unison “Slava Ukrani” (“glory to Ukraine”). Zelensky will deliver a speech Wednesday to members of the US Congress. This Tuesday, Moscow published a list with the names of 313 Canadians who will be banned from entering Russia. The document includes Justin Trudeau, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense, as well as most parliamentarians from Ottawa.
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