Right now, as many of us peacefully go about our daily lives, many Ukrainians cannot afford the same luxury. Being constantly shelled by missiles and drones, they are bravely fighting the brutal Russian invasion at the EU’s borders. Putin thinks that he can kill and destroy with impunity. It is our responsibility to stop him.

As an MEP and a proud supporter of Ukraine, I have been working hard to make sure Ukrainians have everything they need to win, pushing for more aid to Ukraine, meeting with Ukrainian civil society, and speaking at events dedicated to Ukraine’s cause. I have also advocated for the immediate return of Ukrainian children who were forcefully and illegally deported to Russia, making sure that the perpetrators face justice. Lastly, I traveled to the frontline in the east of Ukraine with the help of the Lithuanian NGO “Blue and Yellow” to speak with the Ukrainian soldiers posted there, making sure that they got the equipment they needed.

Ukraine is a crucial element for the future of a strong Europe. As a student, I went to Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia, getting to know the country and its marvelous people. I have seen their desire for democracy and freedom – they proved it both during the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity. Now, they are fearlessly protecting these values from being erased by Russia. The same values that are fundamental for the EU.

That being said, I fully support Ukraine joining the EU. Ukraine belongs to the EU family. And being a member of EuroNest I firmly believe that interpersonal contacts between the parliamentary committees within the EP and Ukraine are essential to strengthen our vision of unity and cooperation. For that, I have participated in many discussions with Ukraine’s representatives surrounding the rule of law, gender equality, and the rights of people with disabilities. The fulfillment of the reforms needed to initiate accession negotiations proves the political will of Ukraine to join the EU. But can we say the same about the EU?

Some MEPs question the EU’s support of Ukraine, deeming it to be tiresome or problematic. And that in itself shows the current polarization inside the EU, which is often used by Russia’s network to influence other politicians and undermine democratic institutions in other countries of Europe. A striking example of this scheme is Orban’s populistic and eurosceptic approach to the European institutions, which is a direct result of his close ties with Putin. With that, it is frightening to see the EU become a hostage of Russia’s influence. And the Commission’s questionable funding allocation to Hungary – despite it making little to no progress in the field of rule of law – is another alarming proof of that. In that context, Ukraine’s aspiration to join the European Union is a matter of strategic EU importance and needs to be treated as such.

Ukraine’s fight for democracy and integration into the EU is a collective fight of all of the countries in the EU. 

We cannot simply sit back and watch. Ukrainians are not just defending themselves; they are defending Europe and our values. If we want to keep living in peace, we have to step up and provide Ukraine with what it needs for a fast victory. 

We must act before it’s too late.


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