David McAllister MEP: On the Russian war against Ukraine
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David McAllister MEP: On the Russian war against Ukraine

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state that is free to determine its future. Ukraine has the right to choose its European path and alliances freely, and to continue its transition towards a stable and prosperous European democracy. We in the European Union stand with Ukraine. We fully support it in its fight to recover full territorial integrity and sovereignty.

I condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal, unprovoked, unjustified and barbaric military invasion of Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this aggression. Russia must immediately cease all hostilities and withdraw its troops from the whole territory of Ukraine, including from Crimea. This is not only a war against Ukraine, but against the whole democratic world and its values. If Ukraine falls, the European Union will be next. I praise the courage of Ukrainians who are fighting not only for their freedom, but also for our common values.

Ukraine is Europe! A democratic European Ukraine, increasingly stable and prosperous, is and will be an inspiration, also for the Russian people. The EPP Group was united from an early stage to call on the EU Member States to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and we welcome the European Council decision to grant it. To make Ukraine an EU Member State, we want the membership talks to start as soon as possible. The goal is to make Ukraine an EU member once all necessary reforms have been implemented.

EU and G7 countries urgently need a strategy for financing Ukraine’s defence and survival: weapons deliveries (€100bn needed in 2023), functioning of the Ukrainian state (€36bn needed in 2023), reconstruction of Ukraine (€350bn needed, starting from 2023). The EU and its Member States will need to be ready to mobilise at least €300bn in funds for Ukraine to survive.

Sanctions on Russia are important in weakening Russia’s military potential. Our resolve must not waver to keep and ramp up these sanctions until the last Russian soldier leaves the occupied territories of Ukraine and until Russia agrees to pay to cover all the damage that Ukraine has suffered.

The end of the war and Ukraine’s victory depends on the quantity and quality of the weapons delivered by the West. I strongly support the EU’s historic decision to help Ukraine defend itself by sending weapons through the European Peace Facility. I encourage friendly nations to continue to deliver weapons to Ukraine without delay. The EU must move from just asking its Member States to deliver what they find in their storehouses to a new more systematic approach.

The EU has to take leadership in the fight against the impunity of the Russian aggression. We want to set up a special International Tribunal to hold Russia accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Such a Tribunal will hold the highest authorities of Russia accountable, including Putin himself. It would complement the works of the ICC, which started to investigate war crimes perpetrated by ordinary Russian soldiers in Ukraine, like the ones we saw in Bucha, Irpin and Izium. The same Tribunal should also investigate and prosecute the illegitimate leader of Belarus, Mr Lukashenko.

The Russian invasion has caused a humanitarian catastrophe and the displacement of millions of people. We must continue to ensure safe passage and quick refuge for innocent civilians fleeing from Putin’s bombs. The solidarity across Europe to help refugees from Ukraine is impressive and encouraging.

I encourage the Russian people to stand up against Vladimir Putin. By invading Ukraine, Putin is politically finished and is setting his own country back several decades. He is suppressing Russian civil society by arresting protestors against his war in Ukraine.