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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Eastern neighbourhood developments (debate)

  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, Oleg Sentsov’s visit to our European Parliament this week to receive his well—deserved 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought reminds us of the terrible price still being paid every day by the Ukrainian people for defending their territorial integrity. There’s a war going on in our Eastern neighbourhood and it’s barely mentioned in the media, yet the UN Human Rights Agency estimates that 13 000 people or more have already lost their lives in the Donbass area. The illegal annexation of Crimea is an affront to all of us who care about democracy. I’m proud that this Parliament supports Ukraine and its aspirations to move closer to our European family.

In 2011, I was involved in a year—long cultural exchange project with Ukrainian partners. I fell in love with the country and its people. I learned about the largely unknown Holodomor, or hunger, a planned genocide which killed 7 million Ukrainians. Russian abuses continue, and I urge colleagues to join our MEP Friends of Ukraine group, because there’s never been a more important time to reach out and embrace Ukraine.

Last updated: 20 December 2019Legal notice