The Congress Must Show Solidarity with Ukraine

Mathieu Mori met Liliia Pashynna, President of the Ukrainian delegation to the Congress. Despite the tragic circumstances, the Ukrainian delegation and its President have shown determination to engage with the Congress.

“I decided to visit Kyiv, Ukraine, the week of August 24. My trip coincided not only with the poignant six-month anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion, but also with Ukraine’s Independence Day.

If proof was needed of how attached Ukrainians are to their independence, you just need to look at the courage and tenacity they have shown in defending every inch of their territory.

My hope for my visit was to show my solidarity with a country that has been the victim of a barbaric assault, as well as with its mayors and regional presidents, who have shown in the darkest hours of their history just how important of a role they play in protecting the citizens they represent. 

Europe as a whole, which the aggressor thought to be weak and divided, is providing Ukraine with political, economic, humanitarian and military support.

The shadow of this new Russian imperialism extends far beyond Ukraine’s borders.

The Congress immediately demonstrated its solidarity with Ukraine, chiefly through recommendations regarding “the reception of refugee women and children in Europe’s cities and regions”. The elected members of the Congress have also introduced initiatives such as the “cities4cities” network, launched by President Vöhringer in partnership with the Association of Ukrainian Cities and the Congress. 

We must continue these efforts. Once the conflict comes to an end—which it shall—I am determined to ensure that the Congress contributes towards strengthening local and regional authorities in Ukraine, respecting our democratically elected representatives and human rights.”