Zelenskyy in Front of the Czech Parliament: “We’re With You, Be With Us”

The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke this morning (Wednesday, June 15) to both houses of the Czech Parliament via video.

Zelenskyy reminded Czechs of historical parallels between Czechia and Ukraine, evoking the years 1938, 1948 and 1968 as well as famous mottos such as “We’re with you, be with us” and “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred”.

He also addressed the importance of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency in relation to the possibility of Ukraine’s candidacy status and more sanctions against Russia.

According to him, the Czech Republic can participate in the renewal of Ukraine for example by taking patronage over Ukrainian regions.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is only the first step in paving the way for other states. (…) Not only Russian propagandists, but also senior state officials talk openly about it,” he said. Leaving the territory to Russia would not resolve the situation. “He who wants to seize everything will never stop,” he said.

Zelenskyy spoke also about Ukraine’s ambition to become a candidate country of the European Union. “Granting Ukraine candidate status means proving that the European Community is real, that European values ​​work and are not just empty words in several documents”. Ukraine applied to join the EU in March shortly after being attacked by Russian troops on February 24, but the process of being granted membership can take years.

In connection with the forthcoming Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, he also called for the adoption of another package of anti-Russian sanctions.

Mr. Zelenskyy has spoken to many countries’ legislatures since Russia launched a war on his country.

Czech Senate approves tighter rules for providing support to Ukrainian refugees

The Senate almost unanimously approved tighter rules for the distribution of humanitarian support to refugees from Ukraine on Wednesday.

The changes, which include an end to the CZK 5000 humanitarian benefit for refugees with free accommodation, food and basic hygiene products,  are intended to prevent so-called ‘benefit tourism’.

Other changes include benefits being linked to permanent residence in the Czech Republic, and the time for which the state will cover health insurance for refugees being limited to a maximum of 150 days, with the exception of children and the elderly.

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