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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy To Give 'Historic Address' To House Of Commons

Rachel Lang

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| Last updated 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy To Give 'Historic Address' To House Of Commons

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc/Antoine Buchet/Alamy Stock Photo

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to deliver a 'historic address' address to British MPs in the House of Commons today (March 8).

The Ukrainian leader is expected to ask for more arms and to repeat calls for a no-fly zone over his country.

Requests for a no-fly zone have so far been denied by Western leaders, which has prompted fears that a third world war could begin if NATO forces shoot down Russian planes.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has granted Zelenskyy's request to read a statement on Tuesday, hailing the speech as an 'important opportunity'.

"Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House," Sir Lindsay said.

"Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic address possible."

It is incredibly rare for a foreign politician's words to be broadcast at Commons.

Usually such addresses would be given outside the Commons chamber, in a space like Westminster Hall.

Zelenskyy via video link from Kyiv, at the beginning of the EU special session of the European Parliament. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo
Zelenskyy via video link from Kyiv, at the beginning of the EU special session of the European Parliament. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

However, MPs will watch the Ukrainian leader speak on screens that have been installed in the chamber overnight.

Over 500 headsets will be made available so MPs can hear an English translation of the President's speech.

MPs will not be able to ask the Ukrainian leader questions following the address.

Zelenskyy had been addressing parliamentarians around the world via video link from Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago.

At the weekend, the Ukrainian leader spoke to US Congress to make a 'desperate plea' for further military aid not currently being supplied by the West, including anti-aircraft missiles, planes and drones.

He opened the private call with US lawmakers, stressing that this may be the last time they see him alive.

He also spoke to MEPs last week in an impassioned speech at the European Parliament, where he called on Europe to approve Ukraine's application to join the EU.

"We are fighting for our rights, for our freedoms and now we're fighting for survival," Zelenskyy told MEPs.

"We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe.

"Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans. And then, life will win over death and light will win over darkness.

"Glory be to Ukraine."

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, UK News, News, Politics

Rachel Lang
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