KAUNAS - We see a united Europe fighting for its values in the face of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says.
On Friday, he remotely addressed participants of an international symposium taking place in Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas.
"Now we can see Europe in action, not just only in its aspiration for justice, but protecting justice," Zelensky said. "We see Europe united not just as a set of ideas, but as a political outcome or result. Europe has learnt some lessons from its historical mistakes."
Zelensky stressed that his country is now fighting for European values and underlined that "Russia is doomed, destined to fail", despite still having missiles and using them to terrorize people.
In his words, Ukraine is and will remain a democratic country protecting European values.
"Very often I hear the same question: How Europe can help Ukraine? Of course, we are very grateful for that but (...) Europe is helping itself, it's not about helping Ukraine," Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president also underlined that he sees no division in Europe on Russia's war in Ukraine. However, he urged EU countries to completely give up Russian energy resources.
As Russia's attack on Ukraine has been taking place for over nine months, the European Union is preparing its ninth sanction package for Moscow. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that earlier this week but did not provide any details on what could be included in the new package.
For his part, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has recently called on the European Commission to assess the impact of the existing EU sanctions on Russia, saying that they fail to have major impact on the country's energy sector.
BACK TO ORIGINS
Remotely addressing symposium participants, the EC president said the idea of Europe is going back to its origins.
"Today, the idea of Europe has gone back to its origins. And joining Europe has become synonymous with reclaiming your country's sovereignty from foreign oppression," she said. " For ancient Greeks, Europe wasn't just a geographic term, it meant freedom, democracy and the power in the hands of free citizens, the absence of autocracy."
Her speech came as Ukraine is seeking swift EU accession. Von de Layen said "Russia is trying to take us back in time", but those fighting for freedom won’t let that happen.
In his opening address, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said it was rather symbolic that the event is taking place in Kaunas "a city, where – throughout history and onwards – the European identity reaches its full potential".
In his words, the symposium "should encourage not only a rethinking of the idea of Europe, but also a discussion on its possible future".
"This idea may not be implemented quickly, but it will be a reminder of the intellectual effort that drives us forward," the president stressed.