"We ask to protect human lives": Zelensky addresses Austrian parliament
On Thursday, March 30, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke before the Austrian Bundesrat. The head of state thanked Austria for its humanitarian aid and assistance in demining. At the same time, pro-russian MPs left the hall during his speech.
The Guardian reports that Zelensky addressed the parliament via video link.
"When we turn to you for support, we ask to protect human lives. Ukraine wants to live in security, peace, and freedom," he said.
He also offered the MPs to go to Ukraine and see the situation themselves.
Austria says that its neutrality prevents military aid to Ukraine. Although the country supports Ukraine and condemns the actions of russia politically, it cannot send Kyiv weapons.
The Freedom Party (FPO) had warned a few days before that it would hold some form of protest against Zelensky's speech. Today, the MPs of the political party were present at the beginning of the address and then left. Legislators left small posters with the party logo and the slogans: "space for neutrality" and "space for peace" on their desks.
"Sadly, the FPO is the only party in parliament that takes our unchanging neutrality seriously, thereby also advocating for peace," FPO leader Herbert Kickle said on Tuesday.
Of the five parties in the parliament, the FPO ranks third in the number of seats in the lower house. It currently holds a narrow lead in opinion polls over the opposition Social Democrats and Chancellor Karl Nehhammer's conservatives, who govern in coalition with the left-wing Greens. This year's parliament works until the fall of next year.
We will remind you that Austria, which signed and ratified the Rome Statute, announced that they would arrest russian president vladimir putin if he entered the territory of their country. After that, the dictator will be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Netherlands).
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