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Speech by Jessika Roswall

Minister for EU Affairs Jessika Roswall’s speech at the Monday movement demonstration on 27 February 2023


On Monday 27 February 2023, Minister for EU Affairs Jessika Roswall spoke at the Monday movement demonstration of solidarity with the people of Ukraine at Norrmalmstorg.

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Thank you for inviting me to speak here in Norrmalmstorg today, and thank you Gunnar and Fredrik for organising these meetings Monday after Monday.

Last Friday marked one year since Russia’s war of aggression reached Kyiv. Of course, war had been raging in eastern Ukraine since 2014, and there were some who saw which way the wind was blowing. But few people would have imagined how Ukraine would come to defend not only itself, but the rest of the free world.

A few weeks ago, I was able to witness another historic event when President Zelenskyy visited the European Parliament and the European Council. Listening to his speech from the front row of the Parliament was an unforgettable experience.

Mr Zelenskyy focused on the values that characterise Europe – democracy, freedom, equality, justice. These are the values that Ukraine is fighting for, and it is this world view that Putin is attacking so brutally. The Kremlin’s war crimes are not just anti-Ukrainian, but also deeply anti-European.

We must continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary, both from a Swedish perspective but also primarily through the EU.

This is why we have adopted a 10th package of sanctions, which will punish the Russian regime and cast grit into their war machinery.

This is why we are sending military support to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility.

This is why we are investigating Russian war crimes through the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, Eurojust.

And it is also why the Government has initiated a working group to look into how frozen Russian assets can be used to rebuild Ukraine.

Through these joint EU initiatives, our impact will be so much greater. That is how we will ensure that Ukraine is victorious and Russia is made to pay.

The war in Ukraine is not just a war in Europe – it is a war in our neighbourhood. Kyiv is closer to Stockholm than either Brussels or Paris. For this reason, the conflict is also about Ukraine being part of Europe, and what we in Sweden can do to reinforce this.

One way is by meeting here in Norrmalmstorg week after week. Another is by this Government continuing to support the Ukrainian people on their path towards the EU.

Because there is no doubt: Ukraine belongs in our European community.