MEPs in Kyiv call for more support for Ukraine to drive back Russia
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MEPs in Kyiv call for more support for Ukraine to drive back Russia

On 25-26 March, MEPs discussed with high-level politicians and civil society representatives in Kyiv the need to step-up EU support for Ukraine.

A delegation of prominent MEPs from a number of committees visited Kyiv for talks with high-level representatives of the Ukrainian government, the Chairman and leadership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and civil society groups. MEPs were warmly received and heard strong messages of gratitude for all the support already provided to Ukraine by the EU.

MEPs expressed their firm belief that the EU and the international community must urgently do more and provide Ukraine with all the necessary political, military and economic support to repulse Russia’s aggression and reinstate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. This objective, the MEPs said, can only be met through the quicker, sustained and coordinated delivery of the weapons and ammunition that Ukraine needs, and for as long as it takes, in order to win against Russia. In addition to providing defence capabilities, the delegation also discussed how investing in Ukraine‘s defence industry and preparing for its integration in the European Defence Technological Base is an important longer-term pillar of the EU’s security guarantees for Ukraine.

As part of their visit, the European Parliament delegation held meetings with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, General Oleksandr Syrsky, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairs of various Verkhovna Rada committees as well as representatives of all political factions. MEPs also met with representatives of civil society organisations, including from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Centre for Civil Liberties and groups working on environment and anti-corruption issues.

MEPs want Russian assets seized and profits used to boost Ukraine’s military capabilities

In Kyiv, MEPs also discussed the implementation of the EU’s recently adopted EUR 50 billion Ukraine Facility, which aims to support Ukraine’s resilience against Russia’s aggression and help with reforms related to the country’s potential EU accession. They underlined that Russia must be held fully accountable for its crimes and pay for the massive damage caused by its war of aggression, including through the confiscation of Russian public assets for the purpose of financing Ukraine’s reconstruction and compensating victims. Work towards establishing a legal basis for the seizure and use of Russian assets must be advanced in a timely manner, the MEPs said.

The delegation and their Ukrainian interlocutors also addressed the outcome of the latest EU summit in Brussels, where EU heads of state and government “reviewed progress on the next concrete steps towards directing extraordinary revenues stemming from Russia’s immobilised assets for the benefit of Ukraine, including the possibility of funding military support”.

Ending the visit, the Co-Chair of the delegation, David McAllister (EPP, Germany) said: “With our visit to Kyiv, we wanted to clearly demonstrate the European Union’s resolve and determination to continue backing Ukraine. Given the current critical situation, it is imperative that the EU speeds up the provision of necessary support for Ukraine to win the war. Russia must not prevail”.

Co-Chair Bernd Lange (S&D, Germany), filled in: “Two years into its unprovoked war against Ukraine, Russia’s aggression shows no sign of abating. It is therefore crucial that the EU and its international partners take further steps to weaken the Kremlin’s war effort. We welcome the 13 EU sanctions packages adopted so far but more work must be done. Full and effective sanctions implementation is essential, as is the closure of all loopholes allowing Russia to bypass restrictive measures with the help of third countries”.