Zelensky to address Luxembourg parliament
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the Luxembourg parliament at the start of next month, the president of the Grand Duchy’s chamber of deputies said on Tuesday.
Zelensky is due to make a virtual appearance on Thursday 2 June, Fernand Etgen told a parliamentary session, which was discussing the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, Zelensky has appeared before parliaments in several countries but this will be the first time he will make a speech before Luxembourg's elected representatives.
Zelensky received a standing ovation following some of his speeches, including before the European Parliament, and the British and Canadian parliaments.
The announcement of Zelensky’s Luxembourg appearance comes as the war continues to drag on, with Ukraine having managed to push back Russian assaults from the two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv, and the fighting now mostly focused in the east of the country.
Luxembourg has so far given €50m in weapons and military aid to Ukraine, Defence Minister François Bausch told a parliamentary commission meeting in April, with the government also contributing to the EU's support package, estimated at €1.5 billion to date.
However, Luxembourg’s parliament last month voted down a call for the country to support an immediate embargo of Russian oil, coal and gas, after the three coalition parties rejected the motion amid a row over wording.
The three governing parties – the Democratic Party, the Greens and the left-wing LSAP – all voted against the motion, which called for a show of support for an immediate embargo on Russian energy supplies, weapons deliveries to Ukraine, humanitarian corridors, investigations into war crimes and for support for the country to join the EU.
Any such energy ban requires "coordination with our closest partners", Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said during the debate, with EU proposals to cut off supplies being blocked by opposition from Hungary.
Following Russia's invasion on February 24, Bettel has been in contact with the leaders of both countries, holding two phone calls in the space of a week with Vladimir Putin, urging him to halt his war and enter negotiations.