Zelensky to address European Parliament

By: AFP
Published: 06:50 PM, 1 Mar, 2022
Zelensky to address European Parliament
Caption: Zelensky to address European Parliament.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is to address the European Parliament by videolink on Tuesday as his country battles to hold back invading Russian forces, the legislature's speaker said. 

Parliament chief Roberta Metsola wrote on Twitter that Zelensky "will join and speak to the world" when EU lawmakers debate the war from 1130 GMT. 

The address by Zelensky -- who has become a global icon of defiance in the face of Moscow's aggression -- comes as Kyiv pushes for fast-track membership of the bloc.

EU lawmakers look set to back a non-binding resolution calling for Ukraine to be granted candidate status. 

But the decision to put Kyiv on the path to join remains one for the 27 member states. Officials caution it would take years of reforms for Ukraine to be able to become part of the EU. 

The European Union, however, has imposed broad and painful sanctions on Russia, targeting President Vladimir Putin, top officials, oligarchs supporting him and the central bank. 

Further sanctions cutting some Russian banks from the global SWIFT messaging network and banning broadcasts of Russian media outlets deemed propaganda organs spreading disinformation are poised to come into effect.

The address by Zelensky comes as evidence from the ground shows that Moscow's forces are bombing civilian areas in major cities as they seek to push deeper into Ukraine. 

Satellite images show a huge build-up of Russian armoured vehicles and artillery 29 kilometres (18 miles) north of Kyiv as the capital, population three million, braces for an all-out assault. 

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.