Brussels, 21 September 2022
Leading MEPs warn of a further serious escalation as a result of Russian attempts to formally annex more of occupied Ukraine.
The Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister (EPP, Germany), the Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, Witold Waszczykowski (ECR, Poland) and the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Ukraine, Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), issued the following statement on Wednesday.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the declared intention of the de-facto authorities in several regions of Ukraine illegally occupied by Russia to hold sham referendums about the accession of those regions to Russia. We regard the holding and the outcome of these so called “referendums” as legally null and void. We are also extremely concerned over the partial mobilisation of Russian armed forces announced by the Kremlin today.
Not only do such steps amount to additional serious violations of international law on the part of Russia, but they are going to lead to a further escalation of the already extremely dangerous situation triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, whose consequences are going to be unpredictable.
We therefore demand from the Russian Federation to refrain from any further escalation and recognise that continuing its unprovoked war against Ukraine will only lead to even more suffering, as its purported goals will never be achieved. The Russian authorities should realise once and for all that the European Union’s support for Ukraine is steadfast and that the European Union will never give in to Russian blackmail. The very fact of threatening the use of nuclear weapons is a totally irresponsible and a criminal act, whose perpetrators shall be held accountable before justice as well as by their own citizens.
We once again reiterate our call on Putin to order the armed forces to leave Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders immediately and return to the negotiating table. In the meantime, we call on the European Union to strengthen its economic sanctions against the Russian Federation and step up its efforts to avoid sanction circumvention, particularly with the help of third countries. We call on member states to upgrade, coordinate and perpetuate their arms deliveries.
The European Parliament reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. It also reiterates that there is no security of Europe without the security of Ukraine and that no decision on the security of Ukraine should be taken without Ukraine, just as no decision on the security of Europe should be taken without the European Union”.