Volodymyr Zelenskyy, photo by the President’s Office
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will appeal to the Swiss parliament via video call on Thursday, 15 June at 14: 00 (15:00 Kyiv time). This became known on Monday during a meeting of the Swiss parliament.
Source: European Pravda,
Martin Candinas, the speaker of the National Council (lower house) of Switzerland, at the beginning of the debate announced that Zelenskyy would be speaking, adding that the date was chosen in agreement with the Ukrainian side. The duration of the Ukrainian President’s address was not specified.
Immediately after the announcement, Thomas Aeschi, the leader of the parliamentary group of the far-right Swiss People’s Party, criticised the decision to allow Zelenskyy to speak, saying that this can be considered to be an attempt to influence the debate on the supply of weapons and ammunition.
Later, he said that the majority of members of his faction will not be present at the speech of the President of Ukraine.
For reference: Zelenskyy will become the first president to speak in the Swiss parliament via video call.
Since 1970, 28 invited speakers have addressed the country’s legislature. Among them were the presidents of countries and representatives of international organisations, as well as a minister of foreign affairs and a senate chairman.
In March 2022, the President of Ukraine gave a speech to a group of people gathered in Bern for the day of solidarity with Ukraine. Then, in particular, he called on Switzerland to take a stronger position against Russian oligarchs.