Andrius Kubilius: Sweden Stands with Ukraine! (Reflections from the U4U advocacy visit to Stockholm)2022-12-05 | Political initiatives
On 4-5 December 2022 the U4U delegation was in Stockholm on an advocacy trip. MEP Andrius Kubilius shares his reflections after the visit to the Swedish capital.
SWEDEN STANDS WITH UKRAINE!!!
Yesterday the whole day passed very quickly in Stockholm which we visited with the U4U delegation.
From 1 January, Sweden will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The new Swedish government coalition, led by the Moderate Party, includes many of our long-time friends, whom we have got to know best in recent years from the famous Visby seminars.
That is why our small delegation – Dmitry Natalukha and Vadim Galaichuk from the Ukrainian Rada, Michal Kaminski – Deputy Marshall of the Polish Senate, Swedish Italian Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (Carl Bildt’s wife, of course), Gerald Knaus, from the Berlin-based think-tank “European Stability Initiative”, and two of our Ukrainian advisers in the European Parliament – Kateryna Musienko and Oleksandr Lazuka, were in Stockholm, touring the friendly offices of government.
The overall impression is really good – Ukraine will be a top priority of the Presidency. We did not need to convince our Swedish colleagues of the importance of one or another piece of work for Ukraine; rather we talked about how to achieve significant results through joint efforts, whether it be on EU integration, arms supplies, the tribunal, or the consolidation of Russia’s terrorist status.
Since the 1990s, Sweden has shown tireless political leadership in the fight for the expansion of the area of freedom on the European continent. We remember how sensitively they have nurtured and pushed forward our cause of freedom. That experience inspires us today to take up the cause of Ukrainian freedom.
It is not surprising that in Stockholm we also met Svetlana Tychanovskaya and that we met Nic Popescu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Moldova. All the roads of freedom are now leading to Stockholm, as Sweden takes the Presidency at a very significant time. Especially for our region. After Sweden, we will have to wait for a relatively long period of time, until the Polish Presidency in 2025, for a favourable leadership for our region in the European Union. Between Sweden and Poland, Spain, Belgium and Hungary will hold the presidency, when it may be difficult to expect any particular breakthrough in the Ukrainian affairs.
That is why we have particularly high hopes for Sweden.
Symbolically, we arrived in Stockholm on a Monday, so we were able to attend the famous Stockholm Monday rallies. Their history dates back to the late 1980s, when the Swedish Moderates and Gunnar Hökmark invited Swedes to gather in Stockholm’s central square every Monday at 12:00 to show their support for Baltic independence. At the time, this was a very important symbol of solidarity and hope that we were not forgotten. When the war broke out, the same Gunnar Hökmark renewed the tradition of Stockholm Mondays. Now it is for the freedom of Ukraine. He promises to keep on gathering until the last Russian soldier has left Ukrainian territory. On this occasion, we too climbed onto the bench in the square. We made speeches. The best slogan of the rally was proclaimed by the same Gunnar: “Russia – out from Ukraine! Putin – out from Russia!”
Sweden is definitely pro-Ukraine. The Swedish Vikings once founded Kyiv. Now Kyiv must be defended!
Together with the Swedes – Razom do peremogi!
Original post and more pictures from the visit.