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“It is time for diplomacy, but also for deterrence,” says Iratxe García on Russia’s threat to Ukraine


21 Feb 2022


Global Europe

The European Parliament today debated Russia’s military threat against Ukraine and how to contribute to a peaceful solution. At the initiative of the Socialists and Democrats’ leader Iratxe García, our group has negotiated a common declaration in support of Ukraine.

S&Ds support all mediation efforts undertaken by the High Representative Josep Borrell, the current president of the Council, French president Emmanuel Macron and other EU national leaders, including during yesterday’s meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

During the plenary speech, Iratxe García said:

“It is time for diplomacy, yes, but it is also time for deterrence. Any new aggression against Ukraine will have enormous consequences for Russia. However, a war can always be avoided before it starts. The avoidance of war and the will to build peace is at the core of the European project. We cannot give up on our most admirable achievement: the freedom and democracy that have dignified the lives of millions of human beings.

“President Zelensky must also remain committed to the path of democracy. Eradicating corruption, reforming the judiciary and consolidating democratic institutions are the best weapons against Russia. Because Putin’s only fear is that democracy and our social model reach Moscow’s Red Square.

“We have a lot of work to do together. Ukraine can be sure that the Social Democratic family will stand by its side. The greatest tribute we can pay to the people who lost their lives on Maidan Square and in the Donbas Valley is our commitment to a stable, prosperous and democratic neighbourhood.”