Europe

European Parliament condemns Putin’s aggression

A majority of MEPs today passed a resolution condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine, after an emotional speech by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, that was greeted with a standing ovation in the European Parliament.

“We are fighting to be equal members of Europe”, Zelensky, who joined today’s emergency EP session via a video link, declared. “Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.”

EC vice-president Maroš Šefčovič responded in the affirmative, promising to supply Ukraine with weapons, in addition to imposing unprecedented sanctions on Moscow. Moreover, he pledged, “we will be with you to rebuild your beautiful country after your victory.”

“One can’t say what is worse, Putin’s military aggression or the narrative he uses to vindicate bullying”, the S&D Group’s MEP Tonino Picula observed, having led the negotiations on the resolution between the Parliament’s political groups.

“Yes, this war against Ukraine can be a prologue into the twilight of humanity, but it could also lead into a new, more just international order”, Picula said. “Putin counted on the passivity of Ukrainian people, and on the West being divided. He overestimated his power. He underestimated the strength of Ukrainian resistance, and the capacity of the west to become united.” Ukraine may be bleeding, Picula declared, “but the Putin regime will be the one bleeding out.”

The resolution, which was backed by nearly all the parliamentary groups save the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) group, called on the European Commission to take a lengthy list of measures supporting Ukraine and punishing Russia.

Included are plans to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal, to give membership candidate status to Ukraine, to urge EU and member states to cancel software licences for military and civilian equipment in Russia and Belarus, to ban all new investments in Russia, to impose sanctions on banks using alternatives to SWIFT, to close off EU ports to Russian ships, plus many other punitive actions.

The resolution also condemned Serbia’s unwillingness, as a candidate country, to join the EU in imposing sanctions against Russia, when all other candidate countries in the Western Balkans had done so. The resolution warned that Serbia’s move is damaging to its accession aspirations.

SOURCE

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