Zelenskyy to press EU membership, more Russian sanctions in speech to Dutch MP’s
Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to press the issue of EU membership when he addresses the Tweede Kamer on Thursday. Members of Parliament will gather in the main debate chamber of the lower house for Zelenskyy’s address, which will be delivered live via video at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.
The president will express his gratitude to the Netherlands for its support, but an aide to Zelenskyy, Igor Zhokva, told RTL Nieuws that the rapid accession of Ukraine to the European Union will be a key topic. “Because we don't have 10 or 15 years for bureaucracy and negotiations. These are not normal times. This is war,” Zhokva said. "We don't want to skip any steps, but an accelerated procedure means enormous support for our soldiers, civilians and children who want a European future.”
The president also plans to press for more sanctions against Russia. “We urgently need an embargo on Russian oil and gas, closing ports, targeted sanctions against individuals and cutting off more parties from the international payment system SWIFT,” Zhokva stated.
All members of parliament will attend the speech, apart from the MPs from far-right Forum voor Democratie. The decision by the party’s Tweede Kamer faction prompted two of its three senators, both party elders, to leave the party. The party started the term with 12 senators, previously losing nine to internal party conflict.
Zelenskyy has spoken via video connection to political bodies across the world since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s speech to the Dutch parliament will be immediately followed by a political debate.