Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses the European Parliament in Brussels

The European Parliament in Brussels welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, who made his first appearance in Parliament. He previously addressed the entire parliament by video connection.

“An extraordinary moment in extraordinary times,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said of Zelensky's presence. Last year he made his first foreign visit to the United States, and earlier this week he was in London.

Metsola said that since Russia's illegal invasion of sovereign Ukraine, Zelensky's leadership has inspired "every corner of the world." “When the world thinks of Ukraine, they think of heroes going into battle, of David defeating Goliath.

They think of the icons of Snake Island, the warriors of Mariupol, the liberators of so many occupied cities and towns. Their names will be talked about for generations," Metsola said. 

She emphasized that the Ukrainian people have persevered for Europe and said that Europe should honor this sacrifice not only with words but also with deeds: “With the political will to facilitate trade and with the fastest possible accession process. With financial support for your people, with reconstruction aid, with training for your troops. With military equipment and defense systems you have to win,” Metsola told Zelensky. 

He thanked the European Parliament and Europeans for supporting his country in "this historic battle" against Russia. He also said that the Ukrainians, together with Europe, are defending Europe against what he called "the most anti-European power of the modern world." Zelensky emphasized the importance of European values and called Ukraine's European path "the way home of our people".