The European Parliament wants more support for Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia following its invasion of the country.
During an extraordinary session in Brussels on 1 March to discuss the EU’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Parliament President Roberta Metsola said: “The Russian invasion into Ukraine is part of President Putin’s destabilisation agenda. It is a path that will bring the Kremlin in direct confrontation with Europe and the rule-based world-order. It is a path that pits authoritarianism against democracy. It is a path that we cannot allow him to walk unchallenged.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Parliament live from Kyiv. He spoke about the losses sustained by Ukrainians defending their country and and also thanked the EU for its support: “We are fighting for our rights, our freedoms, our lives, and currently – for our survival. We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe. So now, prove that you are with us.”
In a resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority on the same day, members strongly condemned Russia’s illegal invasion and called for stronger sanctions against Russia. They also called on EU countries to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons more quickly, targeted sanctions against people responsible for high-level corruption in Russia and Belarus as well as the end of “golden visas” for rich Russians.
MEPs also urged EU countries to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status.