Zelenskyy following the Ukraine – South East Europe Summit in Tirana: Everyone in Europe must be ready to defend their sovereignty, and Ukraine offers joint work, co-production in the sphere of defense

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama. Photo: president.gov.ua

Russia’s war is an attempt to destroy not only Ukraine’s independence, but also the international order as a whole, so today everyone in Europe must be ready to defend their sovereignty. And Ukraine offers joint work and co-production in the defense sector. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama following the Ukraine – South East Europe Summit in Tirana.

The Head of State expressed gratitude to Edi Rama and the entire Albania for the sincere and principled support of Ukraine, our people and justice in Europe in general. According to him, our country appreciates every kind of assistance from Albania in this terrible time of full-scale war, particularly defense packages for Ukrainian defenders. The President also noted the conclusion of the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation with Albania.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo: president.gov.ua

“Thank you for the political interaction and for having the same, absolutely fair understanding that all nations deserve respect and security and the right to determine their own lives, future, and destiny without any external dictates,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The Head of State emphasized the meaningful work of all participants of the second Ukraine – South East Europe Summit, the joint declaration of which clearly noted the existing threats not only to Ukraine, but to all nations.

“Russia’s war against our country is an attempt to destroy not only our independence, but also the international order in general, in which every nation has the right to live freely and deserves respect. Putin does not respect anyone and does not want to allow anyone to live freely. And this is the meaning of his war. And that is why, if he is not stopped now, he will expand his aggression,” the President emphasized.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his belief that today everyone in Europe must be ready to defend their sovereignty. In particular, this requires increasing arms production, and Ukraine offers joint work and co-production in the defense sector.

“We must do everything possible to ensure that there is not a single delay in the supply of weapons to our warriors. Every pause in the supply, every doubt about the world’s readiness to defend itself, encourages Putin. The more he sees our arms shortages, the more he thinks he can put pressure on Europe and the West. This is an extremely dangerous situation for every free nation. And today, as a result of the meetings, as a result of this summit, we have reached concrete agreements, in particular, on bolstering Ukrainian artillery,” he said.

The Head of State also emphasized that every nation that aspires to be a part of the European and Euro-Atlantic communities and shares common European and Euro-Atlantic values deserves full integration into the respective alliances.

“Ukraine supports the integration of the Balkan states, and we are grateful for the support of Ukraine’s integration,” he said.

The Head of State thanked all the state leaders present at the Summit for their consent to take part in the Global Peace Summit to be held in Switzerland.

“We can make this peace summit and all the work on the Peace Formula effective. War is always started by one. But peace is always a joint effort. Of all those who respect the rules. All those who respect other nations. All those who truly value life. The world is bigger than any aggressor. And that is why I am confident that the restoration of a just peace is possible. And we have to make it happen,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, for his part, noted support for Ukraine’s right to territorial integrity, freedom of choice and democracy.

“All the people of our country stand with Ukraine, support it steadfastly and will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes and until there is a just peace. The citizens of Albania support you and want Ukraine not to lose this war, but to win it,” he said.

According to Edi Rama, Albania is also concerned about the delay in providing assistance to Ukraine by the most powerful countries.

He also does not agree that the cessation of arms supplies to the Ukrainian state will contribute to peace.

“This is not only cynical, but also absurd, because you cannot stop the battle by depriving the victim of weapons. Ukraine deserves to be supported in all possible ways to make sure that any peace that comes after this war will be just,” the Prime Minister of Albania emphasized.

He expressed hope for strengthening cooperation between Ukraine and the Republic of Albania.

Edi Rama also noted that the Ukrainian people are simultaneously fighting the aggressor and working on reforms, including those necessary for integration into the European Union.

Read also: Czech Republic engages 15 nations in procuring munitions for Ukraine beyond EU borders