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EU Sanctions must include a ban on coal, oil and gas from Russia, says Iratxe García


06 Apr 2022


Europe's East

The European Parliament held today a plenary debate on the latest developments of the Ukraine war and the EU sanctions against Russia, and tomorrow a resolution will be voted, ahead of the new sanctions to be agreed by the 27 EU member states.

Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament expect the final sanctions to be much stronger than yesterday’s proposal by the European Commission, and we must be ready to prepare a sixth package if necessary given the brutality of the recent attacks of the Russian army. We also call for a solidarity mechanism to mitigate the economic and social consequences of sanctions for European citizens and to ensure that the burden of the sanctions and the preparedness to face them are equally shared between the member states.

The president of the S&D Group, Iratxe García, said during the debate:

“The fifth package of sanctions should prohibit the import of coal, oil and gas from Russia and include cutting off the Kremlin’s access to cryptocurrency exchanges, cracking down on oligarch enablers, and more aggressive action against Russian banks and energy giants. The war has taught us that there is no victory without unity and sacrifice, and only with unity and sacrifice between institutions, between governments and between political families will we achieve the end of the Putin regime.

“Putin’s criminal attack forces us to accelerate the energy transition, improve interconnections in Europe and improve energy savings. Accelerating the energy transition will allow us to lower the energy bill, reduce our dependence on foreign countries and combat climate change. There is no better way to guarantee our energy sovereignty than to stop depending on tyrants who use their fossil fuels as an instrument of blackmail.

“The agreement of the European Council must be the first step to set up a plan inspired by the Next Generation and Eurobonds that allows financing the triple additional effort required by the war in terms of energy, defence and reception of refugees, as well as the survival of the Ukrainian government itself.”

Tonino Picula, S&D MEP and spokesperson on foreign affairs and negotiator of the resolution, added:

“After the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha, we must more than ever stand with Ukraine and Ukrainians in their heroic resistance to Russia’s brutal war. We will not rest until Putin is tried for war crimes and violence against Ukrainian civilians.

“The sanctions package proposed by the European Commission yesterday needs to be stronger. We must enhance enforcement of the sanctions, urgently close any remaining loopholes and work with international partners to increase global alignment with the sanctions. In addition, all the countries aspiring to join the EU must align to the EU sanctions against Russia. Otherwise, this will have clear consequences on their integration process.

“We also need to bolster our military delivery to Ukraine. Ukrainians are paying the highest price for defending not only their country, but also our European values. We cannot escape our responsibility, our commitments, and our credibility.”


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