Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Kornienko is on a visit to Estonia, where, in an address to the Riigikogu on Thursday morning, he thanked Estonia for its help and support of Ukraine, promising that it would always be remembered by the Ukrainians.
"I thank the Riigikogu for keeping the focus on the most pressing threat to international peace and security of the century — Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine," Kornienko said according to a press release. As he spoke, pointed out, Russia was continuing to bomb Ukrainian cities, killing peaceful Ukrainians with just one aim — to destroy Ukraine and eliminate Ukrainians as a nation.
Ukraine is grateful to all of its partners who have stood with them all the way, the deputy speaker continued.
"We are deeply grateful to Estonia for its vast political, military, humanitarian and financial support," he said. "Estonia was the first to have recognized Russian crimes in Ukraine as genocide at the parliamentary level, one of the first countries to have defined the Russian regime as a terrorist regime and the first country to have started the practical recovery of the Zhytomyr region. Estonia remains a staunch supporter of Ukraine's EU and NATO membership. This will always be remembered by us Ukrainians."
According to Kornienko, the time is right to embrace the goal of Ukrainian victory and work toward it collectively rather than looking for premature peace deals with Russia.
"Moscow has not changed its ultimatums and is not ready for serious negotiations right now; their statements are just a smokescreen for their continued aggression," he warned, adding that what would bring real peace is Ukrainian victory. "This goal is fully achievable, and we have proved it with successful counteroffensives in Kharkiv and Kherson this fall."
It is a great honor and privilege for me to speak before the @Riigikogu, and what is symbolic on the last session day of 2022. Here in Riigikogu we – Ukrainians - know, that we in circle of real friends of Ukraine! pic.twitter.com/EcFzPrCs8i— Oleksandr Korniyenko (@OlekKorn) December 15, 2022
The deputy speaker sees Ukraine's victory as a victory of Europe and the West.
"It will restore peace and security on our continent for decades to come," he said. "Furthermore, it will ensure a long period of international stability, because it will prove that aggression is not an effective tool to achieve goals in the 21st century."
To achieve this, Ukraine needs the continuous support of its international partners, including defense assistance, the further isolation of Russia, financial support as well as urgent assistance in restoring the energy infrastructure damaged by Russian strikes, he detailed.
'We have something Russia does not'
In difficult times, there is no other way to overcome global challenges but for unity, Kornienko said. "And together we will overcome all difficulties and ensure the restoration of peace — in Ukraine, in Europe and in the world," he added.
"We are enduring enormous pain in Ukraine, and we want peace as no one else," the deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada stressed. "But we also know that wars like this must end with the victory of good over evil. Let's work together toward this end. Russia still has missiles and an advantage in artillery, but we have something that the occupier does not have and will not have — we are defending our home, and that gives us the strongest motivation possible. We are fighting for the freedom of Ukraine and all of Europe. This unites the whole world around Ukraine."
Watch Kornienko's Thursday morning address of the Riigikogu below.
During their visit to the Riigikogu, Kornijenko and the Verkhovna Rada delegation also met with Jüri Ratas (Center) and Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), president and second vice-president of the Riigikogu, as well as Estonian President Alar Karis.
Visit of the delegation to @Riigikogu. Estonia's military support helped destroy russian tanks,and the hospitality of became a hope for thousands of Ukrainian displaced immigrants. We received assurances of further unconditional support for from Vice Speaker @HelirSeeder pic.twitter.com/s4NUPAf5B5— Oleksandr Korniyenko (@OlekKorn) December 15, 2022
Click here for more photos of the Verkhovna Rada delegation's visit to the Riigikogu and Kornienko's address of Thursday's sitting.
While in Estonia, they also met with Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform), Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut (SDE), Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE), Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
We discussed with the Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo the continuation of the support program for . The stay of Ukrainians in the EU, in particular in , can be extended. And we are grateful for all the opportunities provided by the government to our compatriots pic.twitter.com/dbloS9ERok— Oleksandr Korniyenko (@OlekKorn) December 15, 2022
Ukrainian visit follows Ratas' to Kyiv
Just two days prior, Ratas visited and spoke before the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv, where he stressed that although it's uncertain when the war started by Russia will end, one thing is "absolutely clear" — that Russia will lose it, and Ukraine will win.
Speaker of the Estonian Parliament @ratasjuri at the sitting of the @ua_parliament: although we do not know when the war started by Russia will end, one thing is absolutely clear – Russia will lose this war and Ukraine will win this war!#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/WJbhgr4hGP— Riigikogu (@Riigikogu) December 13, 2022
Editor: Aili Vahtla