NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam (France) travelled to Ukraine over the weekend to convey the unwavering support of Allied parliaments to Ukraine, its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, right to self-defence and self-determination. As Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and criminal war nears the one-year mark, President Garriaud-Maylam paid tribute to the Ukrainian people’s remarkable resilience, courage and resistance and stressed that the Assembly will continue to play its full part in mobilising the support Ukraine needs to prevail.
“The NATO PA has stood with Ukraine from the very first day of Russia’s aggression, and we will stand with Ukraine for however long it takes,” President Garriaud-Maylam underlined in all her engagements with her Ukrainian interlocutors.
In a meeting with the Ukrainian delegation to the NATO PA, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Korniyenko expressed his profound appreciation for the resolute and continuous support of the NATO PA and the Allies for Ukraine in its rightful fight. The war has, however, now entered a pivotal moment, and Ukraine needs more military support to not only resist but win, said Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov.
‘’Ukraine is fighting for its sovereignty and its identity, as well as for our shared democratic values”, President Garriaud-Maylam stressed, adding that all of Ukraine’s partners need to continue to increase and accelerate the provision of assistance to Ukraine.
Visiting Borodianka together with Deputy Rada Speaker Olena Kondratiuk, President Garriaud-Maylam stressed the importance of holding Russia accountable for all of its crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible acts of genocide. The city suffered horrific devastation during Russia’s initial advance towards Kyiv in March 2022. The Assembly was among the first organisations to recognise that Russia, under the current regime, acts as a terrorist state with its attacks against urban centres and critical infrastructure. It was also among the first to support the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression.
During her visit, Ms Garriaud-Maylam also met for a second time with Oleksandra Matviichuk of the Centre for Civil Liberties, a human rights organisation and one of the recipients of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. They discussed the importance of collecting evidence to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
‘’We must remember that Russia’s war started in 2014”, President Garriaud-Maylam stressed in her meeting with Tamila Tasheva, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, and Maria Tomak, Head of the Crimea Platform Department. The Assembly will never recognise any of Russia’s attempted forcible annexations, the President stressed. She also renewed the NATO PA’s support for the Crimea Platform, which the Assembly backed as early as April 2021 through the creation of an informal support group.
The Ukrainian people’s resilience was in focus during President Garriaud-Maylam’s meeting with Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko. Mayor Klitschko condemned Russia’s relentless attacks against critical infrastructure and highlighted efforts to repair and maintain the integrity of the city’s energy grid. He shared examples of Kyiv residents’ remarkable spirit of resistance.
Welcoming the historic Ukraine-EU Summit which coincided with her visit, NATO PA President Garriaud-Maylam highlighted the importance of ongoing close synergy between NATO and the EU in their respective assistance to Ukraine as well as in continuing to support Ukraine on its European and Euro-Atlantic integration paths. Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Olha Stefanishyna underlined that moving Ukraine forward on the Euro-Atlantic path would send an important message of unity to the Ukrainian society. President Garriaud-Maylam reiterated the Assembly’s call for Allies to agree on the next steps of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic path in the run-up to and at the Vilnius Summit of Heads of State and Government in July. Supporting the reconstruction efforts that, as she witnessed, are already ongoing in Ukraine is also essential, she emphasised.
During her two-day visit, President Garriaud-Maylam also met with Yevhen Perebyinis, Deputy Foreign Minister, and Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.