European Parliament wants everything to stop Putin's advance and war

With more than two million refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine to EU countries, these countries will have to continue to show their solidarity, the European Parliament said. 

MEPs commend the frontline states for their commitment to hosting Ukrainian IDPs, but warned that sustained solidarity throughout EU will be necessary in the long term. The EU politicians unanimously condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

In a debate in Strasbourg with French temporary EU president Brigitte Klinkert and European Commissioner Ylva Johansson, MEPs emphasized the dramatic humanitarian situation resulting from the Russian attack on Ukraine, especially in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, as well as in Moldova. The EU has activated 500 million euros in humanitarian aid.

The EP members welcomed the quick response of the EU and called for sufficient financial support, including in the medium and long term. Some speakers wanted concrete progress in reforming migration and asylum rules.

“The EU must continue to do everything it can to stop Putin's aggression and advance in Ukraine,” said PvdA MEP Thijs Reuten. “Current sanctions are not hitting the Russian economy hard enough to shake Putin. It is therefore necessary to take his greatest asset out of Putin's hands by completely and definitively stopping the import of Russian oil and gas as soon as possible. Now is the time to fully invest in green energy.”

Putin's war also poses a direct threat to the EU. Reuten therefore believes that Russia should be at the center of the Strategic Compass and defense packages to be discussed by the EU leaders in Versailles on Thursday and Friday. In addition, we must strengthen NATO, especially on the Russian border, and be prepared to deepen our alliances with Moldova and Georgia.

Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP) opposed pleas to give the EU a greater role in military and defense affairs, 'certainly not by creating new European command structures, let alone forming a European army, but by developing the military enhance cooperation and coordination between the EU countries. For our defence, we already have an excellent partnership: NATO. Let's cherish that and invest in it'. He called Russia a great threat to world peace.

MEP Peter van Dalen (Christian Union) believes that the EU should reconsider Serbia's possible EU membership. Serbia still counts as an ally of Moscow. According to Van Dalen, Serbia plays a dubious role in this war: “Large demonstrations have been held in Serbia for Russia. And while all air traffic to and from Russia has been suspended by European countries, Air Serbia has doubled its flights to Moscow.”

European Commissioner Johansson (Internal Affairs) warned that the situation will unfortunately deteriorate and that Putin will continue with this war. Specifically about Serbia's possible EU membership, she did not comment.