While condemning Russia’s illegal actions in violation of international law, the Socialists and Democrats welcome the 27 EU member states’ unity and determination to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Diplomacy and deterrence are key to avoid a full-scale war in the region.
S&D leader Iratxe García said:
“Words don’t suffice to condemn Russia’s illegal actions. By recognising the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine as independent, followed by the incursion of Russian troops under false “peacekeeping” pretences, Putin is not only violating international law and the Minsk agreements, but also disregarding all the lessons the Second World War and subsequent atrocities in Europe have taught us. Putin’s actions are a threat to security in Europe as a whole.
“But I am glad to see European and transatlantic unity in rejecting Russia’s actions. Russia must not be allowed to wage a full-scale war against Ukraine and its people. Diplomacy must be combined with deterrence and determination. The sanctions package, swiftly agreed by the foreign affairs ministers under the leadership of High Representative Josep Borrell, is the first strong step. And as Josep Borrell said, the level of sanctions will increase depending on Russia’s behaviour.
“With its latest aggressive acts against Ukraine, the Russian regime disavows its own diplomacy. Neither the EU or its international partners can or will agree to any security arrangements based on false security guarantees and fake peacekeepers. Instead, Russia must urgently prove that it still merits its seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Such a status comes with a responsibility for maintaining peace and security, but today, Russia is sowing war and insecurity in Ukraine and in Europe.
“We commend Ukraine, its people and its government, for the extraordinary level-headedness they are demonstrating during these difficult days. We also express our full support for their efforts in addressing the military conflict imposed on the country with political dialogue and diplomacy. These efforts merit our strongest possible support, which is why we do not only call for effective sanctions on the Russian leadership and its supporters, but also call for economic and political support for Ukraine.
“It is hard to imagine that the Russian people would support such aggression against their Ukrainian neighbours. Unfortunately, the Russian regime has stopped listening to large parts of its own population.”
Note to editors:
On Thursday Iratxe García will participate in an extraordinary Conference of Presidents meeting to discuss the latest developments regarding Ukraine