Dear President Zelensky, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
We met in Kyiv a year ago to voice our strong support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea. The Crimea Platform was established with an understanding that the international order only works when it is based on rules, inviolability of borders, non-use of force, non-interference in internal affairs, respect for human rights and economic development. Few imagined that all of these would be shattered.
For over six months now, we have been living in a world without rules. Russia has been waging a war against Ukraine, which has brought untold sufferings to the Ukrainian people and undermined the rules-based international order.
I saw Kyiv and its suburbs before the war and now - Bucha, Irpen, Borodyanka. Ukrainian civilians killed, Ukrainian cities and towns levelled by shelling, millions of refugees have fled the country and an entire generation has an unmistakable imprint of the war. Untold tragedies for millions of families. This is the reality of this ruthless war – the deaths of women, children and the elderly.
The consequences of the war extend far beyond Ukraine and the region, as food and energy crises loom. My country is no exception. We are a peaceful country and peaceful people, firmly committed to a world in which the fundamental principles of international law are respected and protected. But you cannot build a stable regional security order in a world without rules. No state will ever feel secure.
The decision of the European Union to grant the status of candidate countries for EU membership to Ukraine and Moldova is a historic decision. The accession process will be lengthy and will require sustained efforts, but we are committed and determined to follow this path. We will not remain weak, divided, indecisive, in the grey zone.
Moldova does not tolerate injustice. From the very beginning, Moldova joined the international community in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine and called for an end of the aggression. President Zelensky, the Moldovan patriots – and they are an absolute majority in Moldova - are on the side of Ukraine in firmly condemning Russia’s war against the Ukrainian people.
Moldova provides assistance to Ukraine, focusing our efforts on supporting a large number of Ukrainians who have found refuge in Moldova, as well as on rendering humanitarian aid. My country is firmly committed to continue providing international protection for Ukrainians who are seeking refuge in our country. We have received and will receive with open arms the Ukrainians who had to leave their homes. We will further assist with any arising humanitarian issues and will help as many people as we can who find themselves in need for protection and shelter.
Allow me to congratulate the Ukrainian people on your 31st Independence Day, which you meet fighting for your independence, for your existence as a sovereign nation. Moldova reiterates once again its unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea.
Ukraine protects us today. Ukraine protects the free world.