Appreciate peace over Russian diamonds – POLITICO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused some Belgians of valuing Russian diamonds and boats over peace in a speech before the Belgian parliament on Thursday.

Zelenskyy continued his series of tailored appeals to national parliaments, citing Belgium’s own bloody experience in world wars – and its responsibility to shore up parts of Russia’s economy.

“There are those for whom Russian diamonds are sometimes sold in Antwerp” and for whom the income from “Russian boats in their ports” “is more important than our fight,” Zelenskyy said via video link from Kyiv.

He reiterated his calls for weapons, a no-fly zone and the promise of eventual EU membership to help Ukrainians defend their country against Russian invasion.

Belgians are all too familiar with violent invasions, Zelenskyy said. Ukrainians fight “no less terrible battles than those you knew in Ypres. Perhaps what is happening in Mariupol today is even worse.”

These fighters are waiting for a no-fly zone, he said. “We have the impression that Europeans do not have enough courage,” he added, while Ukraine has already lost thousands of lives “defending security in Europe.”

Zelenskyy thanked Belgium for being among the first to provide military aid. Still, he urged the country to do more.

“I think peace is worth much more than diamonds, than deals with Russia, than Russian boats in ports, more than Russian oil and gas. So help us,” he said.

After a long standing ovation, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo responded in Zelenskyj, mainly in English, before switching to Dutch and French, praising the “Ukrainians’ “fight for our common values”.

He told Zelenskyy: “We hear your message and I understand your frustration.”

However, De Croo went on to say that NATO shooting down Russian planes to enforce a no-fly zone could cause “a major war with no solution.”

De Croo said Belgium will send more military support and support an accelerated EU accession process. Appreciate peace over Russian diamonds - POLITICO

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