Motion for a resolution - B9-0210/2022Motion for a resolution

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

Iratxe García Pérez, Marek Belka, Pedro Marques, Tonino Picula
on behalf of the S&D Group

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

Procedure : 2022/2560(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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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


The European Parliament,

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

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 25 March 2022,

 having regard to the UN Charter,

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

A. whereas the illegal, unprovoked and unjustified aggression against and invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation continues;

B. whereas, in line with the UN Charter and the principles of international law, all states enjoy equal sovereignty and ‘shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state’; whereas on 16 March 2022, the International Court of Justice ordered the Russian Federation to immediately suspend its military operations in the territory of Ukraine;

C. whereas the Russian Federation has been committing gross violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine;

D. whereas thousands of Ukrainian civilians have lost their lives or have been wounded in the Russian aggression and invasion since 24 February 2022, while nearly 6.5 million Ukrainian citizens have been internally displaced and more than 4 million have fled to neighbouring countries, adding to the more than 14 000 people, both military personnel and civilians, who lost their lives in the previous eight years as a result of the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the conflict it generated in eastern Ukraine;

E. whereas the EU has adopted four packages of sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to its aggression and invasion; whereas these sanctions include individual sanctions, financial measures, economic sanctions – including in the fields of transport, energy, defence, metals and luxury goods – restrictions on media propaganda, diplomatic measures and restrictions on relations with the non-government-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts; whereas the EU is planning further sanctions against the Russian Federation; whereas the EU has also adopted sanctions against Belarus in response to its involvement in the Russian aggression and invasion;

F. whereas the implementation of EU sanctions against the Russian Federation remains uneven in some areas owing to the opaque nature of Russian financial assets, divergent legal frameworks in the Member States, limited institutional capacities or a lack of political will;

1. Reiterates its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the illegal, unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against and invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, as well as the involvement of Belarus therein; condemns, also in the strongest possible terms, the indiscriminate shelling of cities, the deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure, the devastation of Mariupol, the forced deportation of mayors and other citizens, and the use of banned ammunitions – which all amount to gross violations of international humanitarian law – in Ukraine by Russia;

2. Expresses its utmost outrage and indignation over the atrocities committed against the civilian population of Ukraine in cities and towns occupied by the Russian forces such as Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, as demonstrated by the discovery of mass graves and proof of executions and persecutions; calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate these acts perpetrated by the Russian military forces and to bring to justice and hold to account all those responsible for authorising, committing and concealing such despicable acts, which amount to war crimes;

3. Calls on the Russian Federation to put an immediate end to all acts of violence against civilians and to immediately terminate all military activities in Ukraine; reiterates its call for the unconditional withdrawal of all Russian military and paramilitary forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and for full respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders;

4. Calls for the creation of safe passages and humanitarian corridors for all persons fleeing the war, in particular children, both unaccompanied minors and those escaping with their families; calls for every child seeking refuge to be treated first and foremost as a child, and for protection for all persons fleeing Ukraine to be ensured, regardless of their social or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, ability or migration status; commends the Member States, as well as other countries in Ukraine’s neighbourhood, for their rapid and positive response to the flow of more than 4 million refugees fleeing the war; welcomes the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive[2]; calls for the promotion of mechanisms to distribute refugees among the Member States, including fast coordinated transportation for refugees, in particular for unaccompanied children and children with disabilities who require specific care;

5. Strongly condemns the Russian rhetoric hinting at a possible resort to the use of weapons of mass destructions by the Russian Federation and emphasises that any such deployment would be unacceptable and would be met with severe consequences; condemns, furthermore, the taking over by Russian forces of active or decomposed nuclear facilities and sites in the territory of Ukraine, highlighting that the good handling of these facilities is a crucial matter of health for the entire region; underlines the crucial role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in securing the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine;

6. Denounces the Russian Federation’s continued disinformation campaigns targeting the EU and its Member States through media outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik; reiterates its support for strong sanctions in full respect of media freedom; urges the Commission and the Member States to identify all covert involvement of Russian state media in EU-based online and offline media networks with the objective of immediately and fully suspending their financial and editorial engagement or other types of engagement across the EU; calls for support for independent Russian journalists and media outlets to be strengthened to allow them to continue operating despite their increasingly repressive working environment; calls for EU resources and operations aimed at ensuring proactive, multilingual and strategic EU communication about the Russian aggression and invasion to be enhanced;

7. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to mobilise all possible financial means in support of Ukraine; stresses the importance of providing continued emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, and to Moldova, in cooperation with the UN humanitarian agencies and other international partner organisations; welcomes the decision by the European Council to set up a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund and expects that Parliament will play a full role in its establishment, implementation, supervision and scrutiny;

8. Reiterates its support for all defensive aid provided to the Ukrainian armed forces offered individually by Member States and collectively through the European Peace Facility (EPF); welcomes the decision to increase assistance to Ukraine through the EPF by another EUR 500 million and calls for a further increase in concrete contributions to urgently strengthen Ukraine’s defence capacities, both bilaterally and under the EPF;

9. Expresses its undivided solidarity with the people of Ukraine and their strong aspirations to transform their country into a democratic and prosperous European state; acknowledges Ukraine’s will to be involved in the European project, as expressed through its application for EU membership submitted on 28 February 2022; reiterates its call on the EU institutions to work towards granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, in line with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union and on the basis of merit, and, in the meantime, to continue to work towards its integration into the EU single market in line with the Association Agreement[3];

10. Reiterates its support for anti-war movements in the Russian Federation and Belarus against the Russian aggression and invasion;

11. Welcomes and strongly supports the four packages of sanctions adopted by the EU in unity in response to the Russian aggression and invasion; recalls that the aim of these sanctions is to undermine the ability of the Russian Federation to continue its war in Ukraine by weakening its economy and industrial base, in particular its industrial-military complex; emphasises that unity and solidarity among Member States is crucial to maintaining the effectiveness of the EU’s response against the Russian military aggression and therefore calls on all Member States to contribute to securing a strong and united position in the Council and to establishing a solidarity mechanism for the purpose of balancing the inevitable economic and social consequences of the sanctions for the EU itself;

12. Urges the Council to adopt further severe sanctions that reflect the unabated escalation of the Russian aggression and the shocking atrocities committed by the Russian military forces, which undeniably amount to war crimes;

13. Calls for the effectiveness of the existing sanctions to be increased, inter alia by excluding, in coordination with the EU’s like-minded international partners, all banks from the Russian Federation from the SWIFT system and by banning any Russian-flagged, registered, owned, chartered, operated or otherwise Russian-linked maritime vessels, including Sovcomflot, from entering EU territorial waters and docking in EU ports;

14. Stresses the importance of the immediate and full implementation of all existing EU sanctions against the Russian Federation; reiterates its call to maintain a coherent approach towards these sanctions without any exemptions to accommodate national or sectoral interests; urges the Commission and the Member States to further strengthen the effectiveness of these sanctions by enhancing their enforcement, devising comprehensive strategies to eradicate ill-gotten Russian money from the EU’s financial system, preventing the circumvention of sanctions, including through the anonymity offered by crypto-asset transfers, increasing tracing and identification capacities, ending impunity for enablers that do not perform proper due diligence in this field, and continuing their close coordination with transatlantic allies and other like-minded international partners; invites the Commission to systematically monitor the implementation of these sanctions across the Member States and to enable an exchange of best practices, in particular on the implementation of sanctions against Russian oligarchs;

15. Expresses concern over reports that in several Member States, sanctioned individuals are able to continue to use their frozen assets; calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider the proposals to seize and permanently confiscate the frozen assets of sanctioned individuals; emphasises that the proceeds of permanent confiscation, in line with a victim’s right to restitution, would have to benefit the people of Ukraine through humanitarian and defensive aid, assistance for refugees and enhanced support for the Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund, with the possibility for such funds to be reallocated for the reconstruction of war-afflicted regions, cities, towns and villages in Ukraine and or to compensate the victims of the Russian aggression;

16. Calls for the scope of targeted restrictive measures against persons and entities to be significantly broadened and for them to target all the members of the state and economic elite close to the Russian president and his personal networks, as well as their family members; reiterates, in this respect, its calls for the number of Russian diplomatic and consular representatives to be reduced and expresses its support for those Member States that have expelled staff members of Russian diplomatic representations whose activities were related to the military or intelligence services;

17. Calls for a new package of enhanced sanctions under the EU’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to further sanction individuals and entities, notably Russian oligarchs, prominent business people, senior officials, all those affiliated with the Wagner Group, and all those responsible for, involved in or associated with severe human rights violations and abuses in the context of the Russian aggression and invasion; calls, furthermore, for the existing EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to be complemented by an instrument dedicated to fighting corruption, and for the speedy adoption of targeted sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for high-level corruption in the Russia Federation and Belarus;

18. Takes note of the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation in the fields of arts, culture, education, science and sport; considers these fields, together with civil society dialogue, to be areas that could contribute to building bridges with a democratic Russian Federation in the future; calls, however, for assurances that no family member of individuals close to the state and economic elite who is supportive of the war against Ukraine can access EU-financed scholarships or any other support programmes in the area of education and research; underlines the importance of paying attention to the trade in cultural goods with the aim of preventing the mass trafficking of works and artefacts from Ukraine;

19. Underlines that the EU’s sanctions regime against the Russian Federation must remain in place at least until there is a full and permanent ceasefire and Russian and Russian-sponsored troops have completely withdrawn from the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine;

20. Invites the European External Action Service and the Commission to intensify their outreach to countries that have not yet joined the EU in introducing sanctions against the Russian Federation, using the EU’s leverage and the full range of their available tools to that end; deplores the non-alignment of certain EU candidate countries with the EU’s sanctions; calls for the establishment of a clear plan of action vis-à-vis non-EU countries that are facilitating the evasion of sanctions by the Russian Federation;

21. Notes with grave concern the continued efforts by the Russian Federation to destabilise the Western Balkan countries and interfere with their democratic processes; denounces, once again, those countries in the Western Balkans that have expressed support for the Russian Federation following its aggression and commends the support for sanctions shown by those that are euro-Atlantic allies; deplores Serbia’s non-alignment with EU sanctions against Russia, which is damaging its EU accession process, and reiterates its expectation that EU accession candidates align not only with the EU acquis but also with the EU’s common foreign and security policy;

22. Expresses its utmost support for the decision of the Prosecutor of the ICC to open an investigation into the situation in Ukraine based on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity and underlines the importance of swift work and progress in order to secure the necessary evidence; calls, therefore, for financial and practical support for the ICC’s important work e.g. through the documentation of evidence; notes that the ICC’s jurisdiction, as of today, cannot be extended to the crime of aggression; supports, as a consequence, the establishment of a special tribunal with a focus on the crime of aggression in order to complement the proceedings brought before the ICC, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights; supports the initiative to establish an interim office in The Hague to allow Ukrainian and international prosecutors and investigators to conduct the preparatory work necessary for the establishment of the tribunal, including the gathering of evidence on the crime of aggression being perpetrated on the territory of Ukraine; calls on the Commission to make financing available to cover the cost of establishing and operating an interim office for an initial period of four months; calls for the preliminary evidence of the crimes mentioned above to be properly protected in order to preserve it with all the necessary legal guarantees;

23. Acknowledges that effective sanctions against the Russian Federation and the flow of millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine as a result of the Russian aggression and invasion are generating unavoidable economic and social challenges across the EU and its Member States; calls for compensation measures and alternative supplies of goods and energy sources in order to reduce these negative impacts, as well as for effective measures against unacceptable speculation that is further aggravating them, including by learning from the successful measures implemented by the EU in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

24. Notes with concern the demand by the Russian Federation that Member States start paying for gas deliveries in roubles from April 2022 onwards; insists that the Russian Federation must respect the provisions in its energy contracts and that the EU and its Member States must not accept any unilateral decision to make payments in roubles under these contracts;

25. Expresses concerns about the negative consequences of the Russian aggression and invasion on the EU’s internal energy market, which has led to increases in energy prices for individuals and businesses and a rise in the number of people experiencing energy poverty, which affects, in particular, the most vulnerable people with the lowest incomes; calls on the Commission to explore ways to alleviate the impact of rising energy prices on lower-income households; urgently calls on the Member States to invest in renewable alternatives and to coordinate economic policies in order to tackle rising energy prices;

26. Calls for a move towards a full embargo on Russian gas, oil and coal imports as swiftly as possible and therefore to accelerate the implementation of the Commission-proposed action plan for energy independence from the Russian Federation within a concrete time frame, to speed up as much as possible joint efforts to phase out imports of Russian energy products, to establish a solidarity mechanism to diminish the social consequences of this process and to definitively end the Nord Stream 2 project;

27. Stresses, once again, the importance of the diversification of energy resources, technologies and supply routes, in addition to further investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, gas and electricity storage solutions and sustainable long-term investments in line with the European Green Deal; highlights the importance of securing sustainable energy supplies from the EU’s trading partners through existing and future free trade agreements, further reducing the EU’s reliance on Russia, particularly for raw materials; calls, furthermore, for common strategic energy reserves and energy purchasing mechanisms to be established at EU level with the aim of increasing energy security while reducing external energy dependency and price volatility;

28. Expresses deep concern about the impact that the Russian aggression and invasion is having on food security in Ukraine, Europe and beyond; urges the Commission, the Member States and the international community to provide the people of Ukraine with a robust humanitarian food aid programme; stresses the importance of ensuring Ukraine’s agricultural sector can properly function again as quickly as possible, making all possible efforts to safeguard the upcoming sowing and production season and enabling safe transport and food corridors to and from the country;

29. Recalls that the EU is the world’s biggest importer and exporter of agricultural, fisheries and aquaculture products; urges the Commission to anticipate potential counter-sanctions by the Russian Federation that might affect food security in the EU and to identify and open new markets to redirect the EU’s export of food products with the aim of further diversifying supply from and export to non-EU countries; urges the Commission and the Member States to closely monitor the markets for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture products, paying particular attention to price speculation, food safety and the mid- and long-term security of food supply in line with the European Green Deal objectives and ensuring the integrity of the single market;

30. Notes with concern the financial and economic uncertainties produced by the Russian aggression and invasion; notes that financial markets are facing actual or potential threats when it comes to exposure to their Russian counterparts, volatility in commodity prices, a deterioration of growth prospects, increasing inflation and operational risks, including cyberattacks and IT interconnectedness with the Russian Federation; urges the European Supervisory Authorities, the European Central Bank and the Commission to monitor and address these risks;

31. Takes note that neither the NextGenerationEU fund nor the flexibility under the current 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework are sufficient to cover the financial needs generated by the war in Ukraine; recalls that these instruments were not designed to address the new challenges stemming from the Russian aggression and invasion and simultaneously maintain investments in the EU’s programmes and policies, including important priorities like the just, green and digital transitions; calls on the Commission, therefore, to conduct, as a priority, an in-depth analysis of the impacts on the EU’s 2022 and 2023 budgets and the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, including in order to determine the pertinence and timing of the latter’s revision; expects such a revision to take into account the long-term implications of the war in Ukraine;

32. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations, the President, Government and Parliament of Ukraine, the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation and the President, Government and Parliament of Belarus.

Last updated: 6 April 2022
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