It is a rare event at a press conference that a speaker is applauded, as the former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt pointed out. The applause was for Ruslana Lyzhychko, winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
Ruslana was witness to the events of the previous weeks in Maidan Square in Kiev. She was meters away from exploding grenades. She said, in Ukraine many people cry because so many died and that they should not have died for nothing. They fought to get a new system, they wanted their money not to be stolen, they fought for European integration.
She said that Ukraine wanted to be a part of the European family and asked Europe to help Ukraine get out of this political crisis and that it should help ensure that the elections are prepared in a democratic way.
Newscasts in the East of Ukraine totally distort reality, she said. From the list of people who died in Kiev, they were ordinary people farmers and workers from all over Ukraine.
In Ukraine, there are no inter-ethnic conflicts, Ukraine is a tolerant country where all religious confessions live side-by-side, there is no anti-semitism.
When asked if she wanted to be involved in politics ? ‘No! ‘she replied without hesitation, ‘ I am a singer !
Presidential elections will take place in Ukraine on 25th May.
The Press Conference took place on Tuesday 25/02/2014 and was organised by the ‘Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe’ (ALDE). Guy Verhofstadt and other spoke to crowds in Kiev (get link) a few days ago.
Link Press conference : Ruslana speaks between 11minutes and 21’08
Press conference by Guy VERHOFSTADT (BE), President, Ruslana LYZHYCHKO, Henri MALOSSE (EESC President), Hans van BAALEN (NL) and Marielle de SARNEZ (FR): ALDE Group