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S&Ds: EU must prepare severe sanctions to prevent Russia from using force against Ukraine

Date

14 Dec 2021

Sections

Global Europe

While urging for immediate military de-escalation and a return to diplomacy, the Socialists and Democrats called to prepare severe sanctions against Russia, that should already be agreed at the European Summit this Thursday, in efforts to prevent the Kremlin from using force against Ukraine.  At the same time, they insisted that political dialogue remains the sole basis for solving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and that this dialogue must and will always involve Ukraine.

In the plenary today, the S&Ds condemned the large-scale military build-up by Russia along the border with Ukraine, and called on Moscow to immediately and fully withdraw its forces. Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders must be fully respected. S&Ds urge all sides, in particular Russia, to return to talks in the Trilateral Contact Group and under the Normandy Format and to implement without delay the measures agreed under the Minsk Agreements and at the latest Normandy meetings.

S&D vice-president Pedro Marques MEP said in the plenary:  

“Just a few years ago, Russia illegally annexed Crimea and backed violent separatists who control parts of eastern Ukraine. It was not fiction; it was not a threat. These were concrete actions against an independent country, violating its sovereignty and the international law. Now, once again, Russia is sending strong signals that it may commit another violation with a large-scale military build-up along the border with Ukraine. It is a clear threat to Ukraine and to the stability of the region.

“Whether the intention is a military invasion or to intimidate and destabilise Ukraine, we must not tolerate it. The European Union, together with transatlantic partners, must be ready to make full use of severe sanctions that will tell the Russian autocratic regime the price it will pay if it proceeds with this line of behaviour. Therefore, we call on the European Summit this Thursday to prepare a strong package of sanctions, including instruments such as the freeze of all European assets of people associated with the Kremlin. If the Russian oligarchy only knows the language of power and money, it must know how much it will lose if they do not resort to a different behaviour.

“We would like to establish normal cooperation with Russia. It would be beneficial for everyone. But it will only happen if Russia engage in a different path that respects international law and the stability of the EU’s neighbourhood.”

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