‘Light a candle for Ukrainians’: Zelensky makes speech to Danish parliament

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday addressed the Danish parliament via a live video link.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Danish MPs
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Danish MPs on March 29th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

In his speech, Zelensky thanked Denmark for supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against the Russian invasion, which began on February 24th, and urged more sanctions against Moscow.

“I know that in Denmark, a candle is an image of hygge and a normal home life. That’s a life many people in Ukraine can hardly imagine,” he said during the address.

“I would ask people at home in Danish families today to light a candle in memory of the Ukrainian lives that have been lost to the Russian invasion. In memory of those who have sacrificed their lives for our peace and freedom,” he said.

He also called for further sanctions against Moscow to bolster those already in place.

“Europe must say no to Russian oil as soon as possible,” he said in the speech, which was screened in the Landstingssalen chamber of the parliament, rather than the Folketingssalen where laws are voted on.

Zelensky’s speech was translated from Ukrainian into English, and then from English into Danish as it was given.

He also requested Danish help with the rebuilding of Black Sea city Mykolaiv.

“I encourage Denmark to take responsibility for the rebuilding of Mykolaiv,” he said.

Russian missiles were reported on Tuesday morning to have hit the Mykolaiv, described by Zelensky as a “peaceful” city with no strategic military value.

At least seven people died in the strikes with 22 injured, the president said.

He also thanked Danish companies that have left Russia while saying that more could yet be done to damage Moscow economically.

READ ALSO: Danish brewer Carlsberg to leave Russia

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Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

A majority in the Danish parliament has approved a new fund to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

The fund, which consists of seven billion kroner (€940 million), will be targeted at Danish military, civilian and commercial assistance to Ukraine, according to the Nordic country’s finance ministry.

“Last year, we came together in a historic national compromise on Danish security policies. That was necessary in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in a statement.

“With today’s agreement we give some seven million additional kroner to the efforts in Ukraine, and this will happen on a fully economically responsible basis,” he added.

All of parliament’s parties with the exception of the left-wing Red Green Alliance and Alternative parties voted for the fund.

Some 5.4 billion of the total 7 billion kroner will be spent on military assistance to Ukraine, with 1.2 billion kroner on civilian needs and 400 million to support businesses.

Part of the spending is funded by Denmark’s international development budget, while over 5 billion comes from spending an increased portion of the national GDP on the 2023 budget, news wire Ritzau states.

The money is designed to “retain a high level for military support” and “make a genuine difference for the Ukrainians,” acting defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.

“Their fight is our fight,” he added.