The European Parliament has today officially declared Russia to be a “state sponsor of terrorism” and a “state which uses means of terrorism”.
This came after a parliamentary vote on a resolution in Strasbourg earlier today.
The move has been widely welcomed by MEPs from across the political spectrum.
“Now it’s up to the EU and the Member States to draw adequate consequences, including by starting a comprehensive international isolation of Russia”, declared Andrius Kubilius MEP, commenting after the vote in the European Parliament.
He added, “We have called a spade a spade. All the atrocities that the Russian regime is committing and has committed over the years in Ukraine, in Chechnya, in Syria and against its opponents in Europe and at home do not leave any doubt”, continued Kubilius, who is the European Parliament’s standing Spokesman for Russia and who spearheaded the final text of Parliament’s Resolution on behalf of the EPP Group.
He went on, “The recognition of this fact by the European Parliament sends a clear political signal.
“Europe, Europeans do not want to remain passive when their big neighbour is violating all humanitarian and international standards.
“I expect that now, the European Commission and the EU Council will develop new legal instruments which will allow the drawing of clear consequences for states using means of terrorism.
“I also expect that political consequences will be drawn; besides a deep international isolation as is now being discussed in the Council, the acceleration of the establishment of an international tribunal which will prosecute the crimes committed by Putin and his proxies”, Kubilius concluded.
Pedro Marques, the S&D vice-president, said:“Since Russia launched its fully-fledged war against Ukraine, we have condemned it in the strongest terms, advocated for strong EU sanctions to be imposed on Russia and called to fight impunity by prosecuting Russia for its war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.
“Today, the European parliament will send a strong political signal, recognising Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. There is no doubt that Russia’s atrocities, including the latest massive barrages of rockets on Ukrainian cities, targeting both civilian and energy infrastructures, are attempts to terrorise the population of Ukraine. Russia clearly wants to make it impossible for people to survive the winter without heating, running water and electricity. These are nothing less than war crimes. Russia must be stopped and held accountable. The bloodshed must end now.”
The parliamentary resolution enumerates “a long list of acts of terror committed by the Russian Federation.”
ECR Foreign Policy Coordinator Anna Fotyga said, “The past and the present have shown that Russia is a terrorist state.
“We say it clearly in this resolution. It should also have consequences.”
“The terrorist state of Russia should be defeated. We cannot negotiate with terrorists or make business with them. Russia should be isolated internationally, including exclusion from the United Nations Security Council”.
ECR MEP Charlie Weimers, who requested the debate on the issue in October, also spoke after the adoption.
He said, “We are asking the EU Member States to issue legally binding declarations or adopt resolutions that hold Russia responsible for its terrorist acts and that alienate its financial institutions and political sphere of influence from the rest of the world.
“In addition, the Commission and Member States should complete the legal arrangement that allows for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets. These funds should be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine and compensation for the victims of Russian aggression.”
The joint motion from the Renew Europe, EPP Group and ECR Group was supported by a broad majority.
MEPs now say they expect the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal extending the EU sanctions regime for what they call “global human rights abuses ” the so-called EU Magnitsky Law, in order to swiftly implement targeted sanctions against individuals “responsible for high-level corruption in Russia and Belarus, as well as their enablers and beneficiaries in the EU.”