MEPs in Kiev pledge unwavering support for Ukrainian sovereignty and integrity

European Parliament determined to play full role on unified European position and showing solidarity with Ukrainian citizens

MEPs delegation to Ukraine meets Oleksii Reznikov (left), Ukrainian Defense Minister in Kiev
MEPs delegation to Ukraine meets Oleksii Reznikov (left), Ukrainian Defense Minister in Kiev

A high-level delegation of the European Parliament travelled to Ukraine amid the current security crisis.

David McAllister (EPP, chair of foreign affairs committee) and Natalie Loiseau (Renew, subcommittee of foreign affairsm, security and defence committee) gave a brief press conference from Kiev, where they expressed the EU’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty and integrity and emphasised the “unprecedented” cost Russian president Vladimir Putin would pay for his continued aggression against Ukraine.

Nine members from the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Security and Defence Subcommittee, met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk as well as other Ukrainian authorities and civil society organisations.

McAllister said the MEPs were there to gather factual elements to better evaluate the situation from a clear, on-the-ground perspective. “We express the European Parliament’s unwavering support for Ukrainian sovereignty and integrity. Europe is united in its condemnation of Russia’s actions toward Ukraine and the attempts to undermine EU security.”

McAllister and Loiseau also expressed concerns over unlawful Russian naval activity in the sea of Azov and the implications it was having for the Ukrainian people. “No country should threaten another country and that his position and the EU’s position was that this conflict can only be solved through diplomatic dialogue. The EU will be engaged in finding a diplomatic solution and lowering tensions,” McAllister said.

Loiseau pointed out how Ukraine was under military, economic and psychological pressure and commended the resolve of the people “We are impressed by the resilience and calm of the Ukrainian population. This is the way to address intimidation.”

She also warned that where Russia chose to isolate itself Ukraine had fostered many friendships. “You cannot pressure a sovereign state… You cannot discuss Ukrainian security without Ukraine and you cannot discuss EU security without the EU.”

Loiseau said that while the EU stands ready to create the conditions for a diplomatic path toward de-escalation. They are equally prepared, should Russia attack Ukraine militarily, “to levy unprecedented sanctions.”

Fielding questions, the MEPs were asked about comments from the Polish prime minister that Germany’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia would be “handing Putin a loaded gun”.

The two MEPs responded that aside from the numerous resolutions upheld regarding this situation, “member states are discussing what to do in the case of military aggression.”

 “Military aggression would create new conditions which would put Nord Stream 2 in question again,” Loiseau said.

Besides Kiev, the delegation visited Mariupol, a city and strategic port in the southeast of Ukraine on the Sea of Azov, very close to the contact line. Meetings were held with the Mariupol field office of the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM), and with the municipal and port authorities.

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