Members of the European Parliament have re-iterated their strong stance in defence of Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty, insisting the country had many friends within the international community as opposed to Russia which stood on its own in its action.
In a press briefing from Kiev, the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Security and Defence Subcommittees David McAllister (EPP, DE) and Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, FR), shared details of a strong nine MEP-delegation to Ukraine, during which Parliament re-iterated its message that while the EU remains open to dialogue with Russia, it will remain firm on its principles and will not hold back in imposing unprecedented sanctions should Russia decide to intervene in Ukraine. They said that the sanctions being prepared would bring “massive costs” to Russia.
Mcallister inssited that the MEPs presence was meant to evaluate facts on the ground but also signalling support, recalling that the visit was carried out by a cross-party delegation from different Member States. The German MEP said that the delegation also went to Eastern Ukraine to confirm the EP’s unwavering support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The delegation also visited Mariupol near the Sea of Azov in the Pryazovia region with Mcallister expressing “concern with the activities of the Russian army which is creating a blockade in the region”.
He remarked that this conflict will be solved through diplomatic dialogue: “We are engaged at finding a diplomatic solution so we can contribute to reduce tensions but we will stand by our principles – our support is not just symbolic but also political”.
Nathalie Loiseau added that “Ukraine does not want war. Europeans will help find a diplomatic path but we also stand ready should Russia attack Ukraine military to take unprecedented sanction – a signal of firmness, unity and solidarity”. She lamented that the 2014 war never really stopped, and the ceasefire is regularly violated.
The French MP also addressed a massive disinformation campaign in Russia towards Ukraine, which is focused on alleging that the EU was divided on the matter, insisting that “there is unity between European partners and also transatlantic partners”.
The EP delegation met with a number of high-profile officials in Kiev and other parts of the country as tensions on the border mount.