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EU head Ursula von der Leyen addresses Parliament

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrapped up her two-day visit to Canada on Tuesday night with a speech in parliament highlighting the close relationship between Canada and Europe and the importance of standing united with Ukraine against Russia.

Von der Leyen’s trip to Kingston, Ont. and Ottawa focused on clean energy, trade and support for Ukraine, all topics he delved into in speeches to members of parliament and senators.

Von der Leyen began his speech by acknowledging the ties between Canada and the European Union, saying “tough times reveal true friends,” before highlighting the global impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“All this because President Putin refuses to recognize (Ukraine’s) freedom and (its) independence, and we simply cannot accept that,” von der Leyen said to thunderous applause in the House of Commons.

He called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a threat to “European security” and “to the foundations of our international community.”

“We will protect so that Ukraine is the master of their future. Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine, and we will continue to support Ukraine as long as it takes,” he also said to applause from parliamentarians.

Ahead of his remarks, von der Leyen and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured the Canadian Forces base in Kingston on Tuesday, where he called Canada “one of the European Union’s most reliable partners” during a joint news conference.

“We share the same vision of the world, the same democratic values,” von der Leyen said. “We believe in the power of cooperation, solidarity and diversity.”

Von der Leyen is urging Canada to export more clean hydrogen to Europe as the bloc of countries tries to wean itself off Russian energy.

In his speech, he emphasized the importance of breaking away from dependence on Russian oil and praised Canada for its role in increasing production of liquefied natural gas.

He also said that as the West moves more towards renewable energy, Canada’s partnership with Europe becomes even more important.

The last foreign official to address the Canadian House of Commons was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in March 2022.

Senate Speaker George Furey began his speech after von der Leyen’s speech, recognizing the timing of her speech as a year after Zelensky’s speech and saying her remarks were a reminder of “the importance of defending the values ​​of freedom, democracy and state supremacy.” law”.

“Those are values ​​we should never accept,” he added.

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