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Riksdag Speaker Andreas Norlen’s Speech at 2022 The Conference Honoring President Zelensky and all Ukraine people with the World Leader for Peace and Security Award

April 29, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to address you on this very special occasion. I was very honored last year when I received the World Leader for Peace and Security Award from the Boston Global Forum, and it is a great honor to come back to say a few words at this year’s award ceremony as the speaker of the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag. I have joined so many others and condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The Riksdag has manifested strong support for Ukraine, expressed through unique decisions to send supplies including weapons. The people of Ukraine have a right to defend themselves against this brutal aggression, and we have a moral obligation to support them in that struggle. Russia’s acts are not only an attack on freedom and democracy but also on the European and global security order. Often, we like to look for nuances. We prefer not to see things purely in black or white, good or evil. Today, however, this is not possible. There is no justification for Russia’s vicious war against Ukraine and the suffering it is inflicting on the Ukrainian people in this appalling situation. We have witnessed great bravery from the people of Ukraine. We have also seen admirable leadership from many, in particular the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has been a true leader at this most pivotal of times. His extraordinary courage and leadership have been crucial to the Ukrainian war effort, and he has worked tirelessly also to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities committed by the Russian forces. I therefore strongly support the decision of the Boston Global Forum board to honor President Zelenskyy and all the Ukrainian people as 2022 world leader for peace and security. I cannot imagine a more worthy recipient of this award. We stand with President Zelenskyy and Ukraine in this struggle, because freedom matters, peace matters, Ukraine matters. Thank you