Strasbourg, 8 June 2022
During the ongoing plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted ECR Rapporteur Witold Waszczykowski’s report on “Security in the Eastern Partnership area and the role of the common security and defense policy” by an overwhelming majority. 490 deputies voted for the report, 59 were against and 38 abstained.
Presenting his report, Mr Waszczykowski noted that when he started working on the report, there were many indications that its assumptions would be significantly limited by those who wanted to let Putin save face and make more deals with Russian energy giants. “The invasion launched on February 24 made some of the MEPs present in this House open their eyes. This is reflected in the report negotiated by our groups politically”, he said.
Mr Waszczykowski highlighted some of the most important points contained in the report. He emphasized the need to duplicate efforts to rearm Ukraine. “Our eastern neighbours are fighting not only for their freedom, but also for a peaceful future for Europe. Russia must be defeated, not convinced by phone calls”, the MEP emphasized.
Mr Waszczykowski, who is the former head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, pointed to the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of security, also with other Eastern Partnership countries. He recalled that Russia still occupies the territories of Georgia and Moldova, which at the operational level means, inter alia, increasing the presence of military and civilian personnel in the EU mission.
“We underline the importance of digital issues and cooperation in the fight against Russian hybrid activities. The development of the Three Seas Initiative is also extremely important, as it is an important element of the stabilisation and security of the region – logistical support and arms supplies to Ukraine through the territory of, inter alia, the Polish people speak for themselves here”, Mr Waszczykowski said.
He also called for Ukraine to be included in the EU’s common market as soon as possible and for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to be granted the status of candidate countries, and stressed the key importance of NATO and endorsed the intensification of the alliance’s cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries.
As noted by Waszczykowski, Russian aggression should be viewed in terms of a smoke screen for the ineptitude and corruption of the Russian elite, and the declared source of legitimacy for their rule. “Merely getting rid of Putin will not bring lasting peace in Europe, because he would be immediately replaced by someone who might be even worse, further detached from reality and more competent”, he argued.
Summing up, Mr Waszczykowski stressed that the guidelines in the report aimed at restraining Russia’s influence in the Eastern Partnership are a step in the right direction. ”The policy proposed in the text should be continued for many years after chasing Russians from the occupied territories of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. We cannot allow Russia to rebuild its war machine and provide us all with another repetition of history”, Mr Waszczykowski concluded.
Source – ECR (via e-mail)