Motion for a resolution - B9-0197/2022Motion for a resolution
B9-0197/2022

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 March 2022, including the latest developments of the war against Ukraine and the EU sanctions against Russia and their implementation

    5.4.2022 - (2022/2560(RSP))

    to wind up the debate on the statements by the European Council, the Council and the Commission
    pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Viola Von Cramon‑Taubadel, Michèle Rivasi, Mounir Satouri, Ernest Urtasun, Katrin Langensiepen, Ville Niinistö, Alviina Alametsä, Hannah Neumann, Tineke Strik, Sergey Lagodinsky
    on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0197/2022

    Procedure : 2022/2560(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B9-0197/2022

    B9‑0197/2022

    European Parliament resolution on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 March 2022, including the latest developments of the war against Ukraine and the EU sanctions against Russia and their implementation

    (2022/2560(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine, in particular the resolution of 1 March 2022 on the Russian aggression against Ukraine[1],

     having regard to the UN Charter, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Helsinki Final Act, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects Of Security, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, and the Vienna Document,

     having regard to the European Council conclusions of 24 March 2022 on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine,

     having regard to the Council decisions adopted since 2014 on EU restrictive measures against Russia over Ukraine,

     having regard to the Versailles Declaration of 10 and 11 March 2022,

     having regard to recent statements by the President of the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on sanctions against Russia,

     having regard to the G7 Leaders’ Statements of 11 and 24 March 2022,

     having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

    A. whereas, in line with the UN Charter and the principles of international law, all states enjoy equal sovereignty and must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state;

    B. whereas the Russian Federation launched a war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022; whereas the military aggression against Ukraine was launched in part from the territory of Belarus, which has assisted and enabled Russia in this war;

    C. whereas more than 14 000 people, both military personnel and civilians, have lost their lives in eight years of a conflict fomented by the Russian Federation in eastern Ukraine; whereas the UN reports at least 1 100 confirmed civilian deaths since 24 February 2022 but admits that the real death toll is likely much higher; whereas according to the International Organization for Migration, some 4 million people have fled Ukraine, and some 6.5 million are internally displaced within the country;

    D. whereas the Council of the European Union has adopted four packages of sanctions against Russia, designed to weaken the Kremlin’s ability to finance the war and to impose clear economic and political costs on Russia’s political elite responsible for the invasion; whereas the measures include targeted individual sanctions, economic and financial sanctions, restrictions on media, diplomatic measures and restrictions on economic relations with the non-government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts; whereas the Council has also adopted sanctions against Belarus in response to its involvement in the invasion of Ukraine;

    E. whereas sanctions are having an effect but EU purchases of fossil fuels from Russia still provide means to the regime that help finance the war; whereas, in addition, the war in Ukraine and sanctions have substantial negative economic effects on all Member States, with some Member States being affected more than others, also based on their dependence on Russian energy imports;

    F. whereas President Putin signed a presidential decree on 31 March obliging ‘unfriendly nations’, including the EU, to open a bank account at the Russian Gazprombank in order to continue to pay for imports of Russian gas; whereas Russia has banned the export of more than 200 products until the end of 2022, including telecoms, medical, vehicle, agricultural and electrical equipment and timber; whereas it is blocking interest payments to foreign investors who hold government bonds and is stopping them from selling Russian stocks;

    1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this war, and demands that Russia immediately terminate all military activities in Ukraine and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine;

    2. Expresses its undivided solidarity with the people of Ukraine, fully supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and underlines that this war constitutes a serious violation of international law;

    3. Urges continued diplomatic efforts to stop the war in Ukraine and find a peaceful solution, and calls on the Member States, the Commission and the EEAS to support Ukraine with whatever means possible and encourage international partners to do the same;

    4. Severely condemns the reported atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in a number of occupied Ukrainian towns, such as Bucha; insists that perpetrators of war crimes and other serious rights violations, as well as the government officials and military leaders responsible, must be held accountable; fully supports the investigation launched by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Commission of Inquiry;

    5. Welcomes the swift adoption of sanctions by the Council and commends the unity of the EU institutions and Member States in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as the high level of coordination among the G7; calls on all partners, in particular EU candidate countries and potential candidate countries, to align with the sanctions packages; welcomes the newly established Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force aimed at coordinating the work of the EU, G7 and Australia on sanctions against Russian and Belarusian oligarchs;

    6. Underlines that the full and effective implementation of existing sanctions throughout the EU and by the EU’s international allies must be a priority now; calls on the Member States to identify and, where necessary swiftly create a legal basis to, secure full and effective compliance with sanctions within national jurisdictions without delay; calls on the Commission and EU supervisory authorities to closely monitor the effective and comprehensive implementation of all EU sanctions by Member States and to address any circumvention practices; asks the Commission and the Member States to consider measures against third countries that try to help Russia and Belarus to circumvent the imposed sanctions;

    7. Urges the Commission to ensure that national penalties for breaching EU sanctions are effective, proportionate and dissuasive; welcomes the announcement of a sanctions information repository and a roadmap (including criteria and a timetable) for moving from the detection of systematic non-compliance with EU sanctions to infringement procedures before the Court of Justice of the European Union;

    8. Stresses that the Member States must ensure that authorities, companies and other actors registered on their territories are in full compliance with the Council decisions on restrictive measures; urges the Member States and the Commission to increase cooperation and information sharing, and calls for a strengthened European oversight and enforcement mechanism; calls on the Council to regularly update the companies on the sanction lists, as the companies listed tend to use legal loopholes and find other creative solutions in order to avoid being under sanctions;

    9. Calls on the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Member States to establish a comprehensive plan of action for the EU concerning further sanctions and to communicate clearly on red lines and measure-for-measure steps to roll back sanctions in case Russia takes steps towards restoring Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders;

    10. Calls for the EU and its Member States to establish a Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Mechanism and to swiftly adopt targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for high-level corruption in Russia and Belarus;

    11. Welcomes the adoption of export control measures concerning dual-use items; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to consider without delay the introduction of import ban measures to make sure that trade with Russia does not contribute in any way to the financing of the war against Ukraine, including imports of fossil fuels, steel and raw materials; calls in particular for banning the trade in diamonds; calls for a ban on the participation of Russian companies in public procurement at EU level;

    12. Calls for an immediate import ban on energy commodities from Russia, and urges Member States not to give in to Russia’s demands to accept only roubles for these purchases; calls on the Commission and the Member States to instead concentrate on decentralising the energy system and to massively scale up investment in energy efficiency and renewables; insists on the need for a European solution in order to deal with the fallout of an import ban, and urges Member States to commit to a solidarity mechanism, focusing on the most vulnerable citizens, as well as small and medium-sized businesses;

    13. Urges Member States to revisit their nuclear energy strategies and terminate collaboration with Russian companies on new projects, including in Finland and Bulgaria, as well as in existing projects where Russian experts can be replaced by Western ones, and to phase out the use of Rosatom services; calls for an end to scientific cooperation with Russian energy companies, such as Rosatom, and other relevant Russian scientific entities;

    14. Urges international energy organisations to reconsider the role of Russia in their activities, including the potential suspension of cooperation projects between Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the suspension of Russian participation in multilateral projects;

    15. Calls for expanding the list of individuals targeted by the sanctions, and for Member States to investigate possible ways to confiscate assets held by oligarchs, in addition to freezing and seizing assets; suggests that the revenues collected through the confiscation of assets should be used to help Ukraine; calls on the Commission to map and publish the assets frozen and seized by each Member State; welcomes the efforts of civil society and investigative journalists in unveiling the assets owned by Russian oligarchs, in particular the Russian Asset Tracker initiative, and asks authorities to closely cooperate with such initiatives;

    16. Reiterates the position expressed in its resolution of 9 March 2022 with proposals to the Commission on citizenship and residence by investment schemes; notes the Commission Recommendation of 28 March 2022 on immediate steps in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in relation to investor citizenship schemes and investor residence schemes; reiterates that persons subject to the EU restrictive measures or supporting breaches of international law should not benefit from EU citizenship or residence rights, regardless of their nationality; calls on the Commission and the Member States to find a durable solution for residence rights in the EU for opposition politicians, journalists, civil society activists, human rights defenders and other opponents of repressive regimes in Russia and Belarus without the need for recourse to citizenship and residence by investment schemes;

    17. Calls for the EU and Member States to consistently implement and enforce existing anti-money laundering (AML) rules, and asks the Commission to come forward with strengthened measures for its proposed AML package of last year, addressing loopholes such as crypto-assets; urges a swift and ambitious adoption by the Council of the Commission’s proposal to ban shell companies, which have been used extensively by Russian oligarchs to hide their wealth;

    18. Calls on the Commission to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the sanctions in some key third countries where there are concerns about the lack of due diligence, and on the EU supervisory authorities to engage with financial undertakings to ensure their ability to properly implement the sanctions; calls on the Commission to revise its anti-money laundering list of high-risk third countries to include the United Arab Emirates, which was grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force in March 2022;

    19. Demands that Russia and Belarus be put on the EU’s AML high-risk third-country list, and calls on the Member States to consider suspending all automatic exchange of tax information with Russia and suspend double tax agreements with both Russia and Belarus;

    20. Urges the establishment of a European Asset Registry, in order to track the registration of the beneficial owners of all types of assets, such as real estate, yachts, private jets and art, across the EU, which should be accessible to all competent authorities via a single European access point;

    21. Calls for an extension of the SWIFT ban to include a greater number of Russian banks than those currently listed, in order to effectively cut off Russia from the financial markets;

    22. Calls for the EU and its Member States to take further measures against foreign interference and disinformation, including in the form of setting up a sanctions regime; believes that this should include the introduction of a cross-sectoral and asymmetric sanctions framework, as well as diplomatic sanctions, travel bans, asset freezes and the stripping of EU residence permits from foreign individuals and their family members associated with foreign interference attempts, which should target as precisely as possible the decision-makers and bodies responsible for aggressive actions, avoiding a tit-for-tat environment, under Article 29 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (restrictive measures) and firmly integrated within the Union’s common foreign and security policy and common security and defence policy pillars;

    23. Welcomes the announcement of VP/HR Borrell of 8 March 2022 proposing a mechanism for sanctioning malign disinformation actors as part of a wider toolbox for countering foreign interference, the development of which was already envisaged in the European Democracy Action Plan to be pursued jointly by Commission and the EEAS;

    24. Points out that Russian disinformation is amplified by personalised recommender algorithms of online platforms and social media based on interaction as part of their business model; notes with concern that these recommender algorithms are currently the default and continue to actively spread and promote Russian disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine; calls therefore on the Commission and Council to take measures to ensure that these algorithms no longer remain the default and that chronological order becomes the default option; calls on the Council to swiftly agree on a Digital Services Act (DSA) that takes these circumstances into account and effectively brings such developments under control;

    25. Calls on the Commission, based on its Guidance on Strengthening the Code of Practice on Disinformation, to further address systemic risks related to disinformation, and more particularly related to so-called ‘propaganda’, notably in the effort of evolving the existing Code of Practice on Disinformation towards a co-regulatory Code of Conduct, as provided for under the DSA;

    26. Reiterates the position expressed in its resolution of 1 March 2022 condemning the use of information warfare by Russian authorities, state media and proxies, and supports the ban of RT and Sputnik as state-owned propaganda media; calls in particular for effective ways to be explored of countering war propaganda originating from Russia, through outlets such as Rossija, Channel One and NTV, as they spread content approving and providing misinformation about the war of aggression; notes, however, that any ban on media should be temporary, limited to what is necessary, and not set a precedent for infringing freedom of the press or freedom of expression, as well as the right to receive information; questions the legality of imposing blocking obligations on online intermediaries and internet access providers in breach of secondary legislation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to focus on other measures that prevent and counter the spread of disinformation, including propaganda, and strengthen independent media;

    27. Welcomes therefore the development of specific platforms and news in Russian and Ukrainian language; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to continue to enhance alternative online Russian-language information on the unfolding developments to counter disinformation, to continue to ensure that EU public statements are translated into Russian and also to address Russian-speaking audiences and platforms; deplores the deaths and imprisonment of numerous journalists while reporting on the conflict, and calls for increased support for independent Russian journalists as well as continued support for all journalists operating in Ukraine;

    28. Calls on internet backbone and exchange providers not to cut connections to the Russian internet, as it would severely impact the possibilities for civil society to connect with the outside world;

    29. Calls for access to all EU ports to be refused for ships whose last or next port of call is in the Russian Federation, except in the case of necessary justified humanitarian reasons, and for additional measures to be considered in the field of rail and road transport; welcomes the sanctions imposed on Russian-owned and -rented means of transport, and calls on Member States to further enforce the measures taken;

    30. Insists that all future sanctions must continue to be closely coordinated with transatlantic allies and like-minded international partners in order to maximise their effectiveness and show a united front in the face of Russian aggression; reiterates its call for sanctions to be extended to Belarus based on its direct support for the war waged by Russia;

    31. Stresses that targeted sanctions must aim at achieving effective and lasting results; reiterates the need for a regular review, clearly defined and transparent criteria and methodology for the listing and de-listing of sanctioned individuals or entities, and appropriate legal procedures through which a listing can be challenged in order to guarantee a thorough judicial review and redress rights;

    32. Welcomes the decisions of international organisations, including in the area of culture and sports, to suspend Russian participation; calls on the Member States to reduce the number of Russian diplomatic and consular staff in the EU, in particular where their actions involve the military;

    33. Points to the need to mitigate the effects of sanctions on the EU’s economy, in particular socio-economic factors, and for the Commission and the Member States to engage in further contingency-planning in case Russia continues to use the energy market as leverage or develops new methods to put pressure on the EU and its partners; suggests that a structured mechanism similar to the Recovery and Resilience Facility under Article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular grants, should be created in order to protect the stability of the Union and the fiscal space of Member States and to catalyse the energy transition;

    34. 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 European External Action Service, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the President, Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President, Government and the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and the President, Government and Parliament of Belarus.

     

     

    Last updated: 5 April 2022
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