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European Parliament President Metsola sees moment of 'unity'

April 6, 2022

The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, spoke to DW soon after her return from Kyiv. She said this week could be decisive for Ukraine and the country needs weapons to continue the fight.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Ukrainain President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on April 1.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola saw courage and resilient in Ukrainain President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's eyes in Kyiv Image: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP/picture alliance

'Unprecedented unity' over Ukraine: Metsola

Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, told DW Wednesday that she saw courage and resilience in Volodymyr Zelenskyy's eyes on her visit to Kyiv.

Her visit on April 1 came shortly before the world saw the images of deceased civilians on the streets of Bucha.

"I also saw the face of a leader that would like more from the European Union, from leaders," Metsola said.

She added, "That is why I went there, in order to talk face to face with him, to see how myself as leader of the European Parliament, but also all of us as a European Union, can continue to help."

Zelenskyy's response, in Metsola's words, was: "We need more help more urgently. We need more arms. We need more military help, financial help and logistical help."

DW's Alexandra von Nahmen reports from Kyiv

Metsola describes 'unity' of purpose

In the European Parliament, Metsola described a mood of "unprecedented unity" over Ukraine.

The EU candidate status of Ukraine, the quick removal of Russia from the SWIFT system and the first rounds of sanctions packages and financial assistance were voted on "at lightning speed."

Ukraine: How far will Europe go?

Metsola noted, "I think these days are crucial. This week is crucial in order to make sure that the Ukrainians continue to have the possibility to fight. They are fighting not only for their country, they are fighting for Europe."

For this reason, Metsola argued, "We do not want to remain dependent on Russian oil, coal but also gas."

'Would never have dreamt' of renewed war in Europe

"I am one of those generations that did not grow up with war in this continent," Metsola said, adding, "I would never have dreamt of a war in Europe. But we are living a war and our decisions these few days will be testament to our courage to make sure our children will not live through war again."

Because of these conditions, Metsola concluded, "We need to have all the arsenal, if I can use that word, whether it's political, economical or military, in order to have tools in our hands to fight it."

Stoltenberg: Putin's ambition unchanged

Metsola has only been on the job since last month following the death of her predecessor, David Sassoli.

Russian energy in focus, but only coal for now

Earlier this week, the European Commission proposed a new series of sanctions, including banning the sale of Russian coal into the EU, though not oil and gas. The measure is expected to pass next week.

EU lawmakers debate new Russia sanctions

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament on Wednesday that the 27-nation bloc has spent €35 billion ($38 million) on Russian gas, oil and coal since February 24 when the war in Ukraine began.

"Compare that to the €1 billion that we have given to the Ukraine in arms and weapons,'' Borrell said.

DW's Barbara Wesel conducted the interview.