Motion for a resolution - B7-0265/2014Motion for a resolution
B7-0265/2014

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia

11.3.2014 - (2014/2627(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Hannes Swoboda, Libor Rouček, Ana Gomes, Marek Siwiec, Tonino Picula, Knut Fleckenstein, Evgeni Kirilov, Maria Eleni Koppa, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Boris Zala, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Victor Boştinaru, Ivari Padar, Emine Bozkurt, Jo Leinen on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0263/2014

Procedure : 2014/2627(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B7-0265/2014

B7‑0265/2014

European Parliament resolution on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia

(2014/2627(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Ukraine[1],

–       having regard to the Council conclusions on Ukraine of 3 March 2014,

–       having regard to the statement of the Heads of State or Government on Ukraine of 6 March 2014,

–       having regard to the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom,

–       having regard to the 1975 Helsinki Final Act,

–       having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas immediately after the success of the Maidan revolution in Kyiv a wave of pro-Russian demonstrations took place in several cities in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea;

B.     whereas men in unmarked army uniforms seized the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and took positions at strategic points in the peninsula; whereas a number of armed individuals arrived from the territory of the Russian Federation and committed an armed attack, capturing the checkpoint of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine; whereas it is obvious that some of the armed individuals who are active in Crimea are in reality Russian soldiers;

C.     whereas pro-Russian protesters have seized the regional parliament building in Donetsk and other public buildings have been occupied in Kharkov; whereas the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has announced its intention to seek union with Russia and to organise a referendum for this purpose; whereas the date for this referendum has been brought forward several times and is now set for 16 March 2014;

D.     whereas on 1 March 2014 the Federation Council of the Russian Federation gave authorisation for the use of armed forces on the territory of Ukraine;

E.     whereas Russia is claiming that its military mobilisation is intended to protect Russian-speaking communities; whereas there is no proof that this population was under threat from the new authorities in Kyiv; whereas, however, certain actions, such as the never enforced decision by the Verkhovna Rada to remove Russian as an official state language, created anxiety among the Russian-speaking community and was invoked for the purpose of separatist claims and Russia’s intervention;

F.     whereas Russia’s de facto seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula threatens peace, stability and security in Europe and has worldwide implications; whereas the overall responsibility for acts by armed individuals arriving from the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, with the support of units from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, lies solely with the Russian Federation;

G.     whereas the 28 EU Heads of State and Government issued a strong warning about the implications of the Russian actions and took the decision to suspend bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters and the negotiations for a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and to also suspend participation by the EU institutions in the preparations for the G8 Summit due to take place in Sochi in June 2014;

1.      Strongly condemns the Russian challenge to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine; expresses its solidarity with the Ukrainian people at this critical juncture for the country; calls for the immediate de-escalation of the crisis, with the immediate withdrawal of all military forces present illegally on Ukrainian territory, and urges full respect for international law and existing conventional obligations;

2.      Emphasises the need for the EU and its Member States to speak to Russia with one united voice and to support the right of a united Ukraine to determine its future freely; welcomes, therefore, the joint statement of the extraordinary European Summit of 6 March that condemned the Russian acts of aggression and supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine; calls for close transatlantic cooperation on steps towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis;

3.      Stresses its conviction that the establishment of a constructive dialogue is the only way forward for resolving any conflict and for long-term stability in Ukraine; warns, however, that in the absence of de-escalation or a further escalation with the annexation of Crimea, the EU should be able to decide quickly upon appropriate measures, which could include an arms embargo, restrictions on visas and the freezing of assets of certain individuals, and have broader consequences for existing discussions on political and economic ties with Russia; calls for the launch of a proper evaluation of these targeted sanctions so as not to affect the broader Russian population and to avoid drastic adverse effects for the EU and its Member States;

4.      Stresses the need for the EU and all Member States to re-balance their energy dependency on Russia and to work more seriously on energy diversification as regards both gas and nuclear resources; believes, furthermore, that the EU should support the Ukrainian Government in reforming and modernising its energy sector, and in integrating the Ukrainian energy market into the EU energy market; welcomes the Commission’s readiness to assist Ukraine in diversifying its gas supply routes by ensuring reverse flows via EU countries, and urges swift finalisation of the related Memorandum of Understanding between the transmission system operators of Slovakia and Ukraine;

5.      Calls for the establishment of an independent international fact-finding mission on the conflict in Ukraine to allow an objective assessment of the origins of the unrest and military intervention in Crimea, including with regard to international law, humanitarian law and human rights; believes that such a mission would help to ease the tensions and avoid further destabilisation through targeted disinformation, and would respond to the concerns of local populations, paving the way for a peaceful settlement of the crisis; calls for the mission of observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to be given access to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as soon as possible;

6.      Notes with great concern the reports that armed people are marking the houses of Ukrainian Tatars in areas of Crimea where Tatars and Russians live together; notes that Crimean Tatars, who returned to their homeland after Ukraine’s independence, have been calling on the international community to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and a comprehensive legal and political agreement on the restoration of their rights as indigenous peoples of Crimea; calls on the international community, the European Commission and Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to pay immediate attention to the rights of this, and any other, minority community in the Crimean peninsula;

7.      Urges recognition of the legitimacy of the interim Government of Ukraine by Russia and calls for the immediate start of negotiations, bilaterally and/or within a multilateral framework, which need to produce results within a limited timeframe; draws attention to the fact that the whole interim government was endorsed by a 371 majority vote in the Verkhovna Rada;

8.      Highlights the fact that the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been guaranteed by Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and points out that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea can only organise referendums on local matters and not on modifying the territorial configuration of Ukraine; stresses that a referendum on the issue of joining the Russian Federation will therefore be considered illegitimate and illegal, as would any other referendum that contravened the Ukrainian constitution;

9.      Reiterates its call for an inclusive democratic approach by the interim Government of Ukraine to minimise the risk of renewed violence and territorial fragmentation; strongly warns against actions that might contribute to heightened polarisation along ethnic or language lines; commends, in this regard, the measured and responsible reaction of the Ukrainian Government to the events in Crimea; stresses the need for the new authorities in Kyiv to reconnect with the culturally rich Ukrainian society and to ensure that the rights of the Russian-speaking population and all minorities are fully respected and protected, working in close cooperation with the OSCE and the Council of Europe; reiterates its call for a new wide-ranging language regime in supporting all minority languages;

10.    Is of the opinion that certain aspects of the agreement of 21 February 2014, as negotiated by three foreign ministers on behalf of the EU, could still be helpful for an exit from the current impasse; takes the view, however, that no party can negotiate and/or accept solutions that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and reaffirms the fundamental right of the Ukrainian people to freely determine their country’s future;

11.    Reiterates its call for an investigation into the events on Maidan in February that led to more than 80 deaths and hundreds of wounded;

12.    Calls for free, fair, transparent and nationwide elections with OSCE-ODIHR observation and reiterates its readiness to set up its own mission for this same purpose; invites the Ukrainian authorities to do their utmost to encourage high levels of voter participation in the presidential elections, especially in the eastern and southern parts of the country; believes that parliamentary elections should be organised swiftly after the presidential elections and before the end of the year; reiterates its call on the Ukrainian authorities to conduct these elections in accordance with the Venice Commission recommendations and supports the adoption of a proportional voting system that would facilitate proper representation of the local circumstances in the country; stresses the importance of the parliament and its members, both at central and local level, abiding by the rule of law;

13.    Believes that arrangements can be made for a comprehensive constitutional reform, preferably through setting up a Constitutional Assembly which will include representatives from all over Ukraine;

14.    Welcomes the endorsement by the 28 EU Heads of State and Government of the Council’s decision of 3 March to freeze and recover stolen state assets that should be identified and returned to Ukraine as soon as possible;

15.    Reiterates its position that the new government must make the fight against corruption one of its key priorities and looks forward to a positive track record in this respect; stresses that the Maidan and all Ukrainians are expecting radical change and a proper system of governance;

16.    Supports a more strategic approach by the EU on Ukraine and recognises the need to provide fast-track aid to the country; welcomes the announcement by the Commission of a package of concrete financial measures amounting to at least EUR 11 billion over the coming years from the EU budget and EU-based international financial institutions, such as the EIB and EBRD, as well as its intention to adopt positive trade measures in the coming weeks in order for Ukraine to benefit immediately from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA); welcomes, furthermore, the US offer of USD 1 billion to the Ukrainian Government in American loan guarantees that could ensure a higher IMF loan for Ukraine; cautions, however, against the danger of a Cold War-like confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, and considers that Moscow could also contribute to the socio-economic stabilisation of Ukraine, as a clear sign of reconciliation and its willingness to work for peace and prosperity in the common neighbourhood;

17.    Calls on the EU urgently to consider ways of involving Russia in the search for a lasting political solution in Ukraine, and urges the EU and Russia to use their influence and do their utmost to prevent the further escalation of the current situation, to discourage separatist moves, and to resolve all disputes peacefully;

18.    Takes the view that, in the framework of a political settlement, the Ukrainian Government should commit itself to repay the debt towards Russia and Russian banks and companies and to use part of the financial assistance from the EU and other international financial institutions for the socio-economic development of poor regions in south-east Ukraine; calls on the IMF to avoid imposing unbearable austerity measures that will further aggravate the already difficult socio-economic situation of the country;

19.    Reiterates that a visa-free agreement between the EU and Ukraine is one way of responding to calls from Ukrainian civil society and students who have demonstrated for democracy and other core European values; points out that such an agreement would step up exchanges and people-to-people contacts between civil societies, thus increasing mutual understanding, and would benefit economic exchanges; calls on the Commission to present a proposal to put Ukraine on the list of third countries whose nationals are not subject to a visa requirement; calls also on the Member States to fully implement the current visa facilitation agreement and to take advantage of the flexibility offered by the Visa Code in order to facilitate access to the EU, in particular for students and scientists, and in this regard to strengthen research cooperation, expand youth exchanges and increase the availability of scholarships;

20.    Welcomes the readiness of the 28 EU Heads of State and Government to sign the political chapters of the Association Agreement (AA) as soon as possible and before the presidential elections of 25 May; points out that the EU stands ready to sign the full AA/DCFTA as soon as the political crisis is resolved, presidential and parliamentary elections take place, and the newly elected authorities are ready to take this step; points out, furthermore, that, pursuant to Article 49 TEU, Ukraine can - like any other European state - apply for membership of the EU, provided that it adheres to the principles of democracy, respects fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights, and ensures the rule of law;

21.    Strongly believes that events in Ukraine highlight the need for the EU to redouble its commitment and support for the European choice and territorial integrity of Moldova and Georgia as they prepare to sign the Association and DCFTA Agreements with the EU later this year;

22.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Member States, the acting President, the Government and the Parliament of Ukraine and the President, the Government and the Parliament of the Russian Federation.