President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, who is on a visit to Ukraine.
Welcoming the head of the Swedish government to Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden has been strongly supporting our country and people.
During the meeting, the President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Sweden discussed all aspects of assistance and cooperation both at the bilateral level and within European institutions.
"In the first half of this year, Sweden holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, so a significant part of our talks today was devoted to pan-European issues. Together with the Swedish Presidency, we must ensure everything necessary to start negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union this year. We really strive for this, and there will be no obstacles to this. I am grateful to Sweden for its leadership and for realizing that true European strength is strength together with Ukraine," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized during a press conference following the talks with Ulf Kristersson in Kyiv.
The Head of State is confident that this year Ukraine and Sweden will be able to make these steps on the European path that are important for everyone.
The parties also discussed defense cooperation. The President of Ukraine informed the Prime Minister of Sweden about the needs of our country to restore territorial integrity and return all the lands occupied by Russia. The interlocutors separately discussed the issue of strengthening air defense.
"I am thankful for the defense support packages provided by Sweden. They are very tangible. I am grateful to Prime Minister Kristersson that only recently Ukraine has been allocated about $1 billion in defense assistance. We highly appreciate this decision. Our warriors are especially looking forward to the recently approved package - brilliant Swedish Archers, one of the best artillery systems in the world," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President emphasized: defense support for Ukraine, which effectively limits the potential of Russian aggression, is the best way to bring peace closer and guarantee security for everyone in Europe.
"The more powerful Ukraine is now, the faster the aggression will end," he emphasized.
In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ulf Kristersson discussed further steps in the reconstruction of Ukraine, cooperation in the energy sector and economy.
"Today, Sweden is among the top 5 suppliers of critical equipment for the restoration of our energy sector after the strikes by the Russian Federation. I am grateful for such a powerful support - it is a very concrete manifestation of how much Sweden values people and humanity," the Head of State noted.
According to him, one of the key priorities for Ukraine is also the "green" transformation of the energy sector.
"This is exactly the area in which we can achieve historic results together with Sweden. I know that the "green" energy transition of the entire European community is one of the priorities of the Swedish Presidency of the European Union," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Particular attention was also paid to Sweden's leadership in creating a network of state-of-the-art waste processing plants in Ukraine. As the President emphasized, Ukraine is interested in cooperation in this area and hopes for Sweden's support.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also expressed gratitude to Sweden, personally to Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the Swedish society for the humanitarian support for Ukrainians who stay in Ukraine and those who have found refuge in Sweden.
The parties discussed support for Grain from Ukraine humanitarian food program, further strengthening of sanctions against the Russian aggressor in the context of the preparation of the tenth EU sanctions package, and the possibility of implementing the Ukrainian Peace Formula.
"I am really pleased that the blue and yellows - Ukraine and Sweden - are defending humanity, freedom, people and Europe together. And I am sure we will be victorious together," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summarized.
Ulf Kristersson, for his part, noted that Ukraine is a priority for Sweden's foreign policy and its Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
"Sweden condemns Russia's aggression against its peaceful neighbor. This is a war against Ukraine, as well as against our common European security and our transatlantic values. It is very important to ensure that the international community continues to support Ukraine, its territorial integrity and independence. Ending Russia's war against Ukraine is a matter of global security and peace. Your plan for a peaceful settlement deserves attention," the Prime Minister of Sweden said.
Ulf Kristersson expressed his belief that Russia will not be able to succeed in this war, as the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian people are defending their freedom, which impresses Europeans, including Swedes.
"It is a great honor to be here today and to meet extremely brave Ukrainians," he said.
The Swedish Prime Minister noted that before the Russian invasion, his country was among the largest donors to Ukraine. He said that this year, Sweden has significantly increased its assistance, particularly in the defense and humanitarian spheres, and will focus on cooperation with partners working in the areas of Ukraine that are difficult to reach due to hostilities and in the de-occupied territories. The focus is on rebuilding Ukraine, he said.
"Let me assure you that we will provide as much support as you need, both economically and defensively," Ulf Kristersson assured.
The Swedish Prime Minister also emphasized that his country is willing to cooperate to ensure that war criminals are brought to justice.
"We are working with Ukraine to find the best way to ensure this, including the work on the tribunal. This is a major interest for the entire international community. We will not stop, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice," said Ulf Kristersson.
He also praised Ukraine's steps towards the EU, the implementation of reforms despite the ongoing aggression, and assured of support for our country in this direction, so that Ukraine could become a full member of the European Union.