Foreign affairs MEPs call for strong EU sanctions against Russian mobilisation

MEPs call onEU step up economic assistance to the Ukrainian economy in order to increase the resilience of the Ukrainian population

MEP David McAllister (EPP)
MEP David McAllister (EPP)

Prominent MEPs from the foreign relations committee and rapporteurs on Ukraine and Russia have strongly condemned the Russian premier’s latest move to recognise the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent republics.

Vladimir Putin has dispatched troops for what the Kremlin dubbed a “peacekeeping mission”, to deter Ukraine from trying to take the breakway republics back. Putin’s treaty allows for Russia to establish military bases and missiles in those disputed territories.

Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs David Mcallister (EPP), the Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Witold Waszczykowski (ECR), the Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR), the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Ukraine Michael Gahler (EPP) and the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Russia Andrius Kubilius (EPP) called the move “an extremely serious violation of international law as well as of the Minsk agreements.”

The MEPs said Putin had cast serious doubt on the trustworthiness of the Russian Federation as an international actor and on its ability to keep its word in the international arena.

“The above decision puts into question the actual willingness of the Russian Federation to de-escalate the tense situation around Ukraine and to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

“We therefore urge the Russian Federation to repeal with immediate effect the above decision and to return to the negotiating table. In the meantime, we call on the European Union to work in close cooperation with its international partners and swiftly adopt sanctions against those involved in this illegal act, as well as a broader package of progressive, proportionate and strongly dissuasive economic sanctions against the Russian Federation. This should be linked to the lifting of the Russian military build-up within and around Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and its attempted blockade of the Ukrainian economy.”

The MEPs also called on the EU step up economic assistance to the Ukrainian economy in order to increase the resilience of the Ukrainian population, and swiftly put in place contingency measures in anticipation of the possible humanitarian consequences of the conflict.

“The European Parliament once again confirms its unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. Parliament reiterates that there is no security for Europe without security for Ukraine and that no decision on the security of Ukraine should be taken without Ukraine, and no decision on the security of Europe should be taken without the European Union.”

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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