Socialists and Democrats in the EU parliament have urged member states to “remain united, increase their assistance to Ukraine, including military, and swiftly impose a new package of economic sanctions against Russia to cut its ability to continue the war.”
At the request of the S&Ds, the EP debated Russia’s serious escalation of its aggression against Ukraine and the persistent violations of international law, condemning the sham “referenda” in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia and their illegal annexation. As High Representative Josep Borrell said in plenary – now is not the time for doubts. In this new and dangerous phase of Russia’s war, the EU must show that its support for Ukraine is not weakening.
S&D vice-president Pedro Marques MEP said: “Voting with a gun at your head is not a vote! It is an assault on democracy. Through his masquerade referendums and illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions, Putin hopes to hide his spectacular failures and the Ukrainians’ heroic gains on the battleground.”
“Ukraine is entitled to defend itself and Europe has a moral duty to support it. History will severely judge everyone who stands by Putin and destroys the European Union’s unity.”
“We need a truly united European response now, and be decisive in our actions: provide more political, economic and military support to Ukrainians. But we also need more sanctions on the Russian economy and its war machine. Finally, we must also stop buying energy from Russia, and confiscate the assets of Russian oligarchs, putting them to the service of the reconstruction of Ukraine.”
Tonino Picula MEP, S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs, and the negotiator of the resolution that will be adopted on Thursday, added: “More than seven months since the start of their aggression, things are not going as planned for Russia. What was supposed to be a quick special military operation transformed into a long battle where Ukrainian forces showed exceptional bravery, and even started to advance.
“Now, one of the most critical tasks for us is maintaining unity among our governments and citizens. We have to be clear and admit the origin of all the problems that our citizens are dealing with – high energy prices, food supply problems, and security threats – are caused by the actions of the Russian regime. Russia, and only Russia, is responsible for its war of aggression. Neither Ukraine, NATO nor the EU.”
“The change in Russian politics should come from within. Therefore, we should increase our support for those in Russia who raise their voices against the Putin regime and can be the drivers of this change.”Tonino Picula