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Wednesday, 6 April 2022 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

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 (debate)

  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, so the EU solution to the war in Ukraine is more war: pile in the weapons, splurge on militarism, threaten to engage in all out economic and financial war against Russia. So the same things you were doing already and expecting a different result, the true definition of madness.

How is not selling Kerrygold butter to Russia going to save any Ukrainian lives? How is buying filthy fracked US gas going to stop the war? They won’t, of course, because nowhere have sanctions ever succeeded in ending a military assault or achieving regime change. But what they have done is unleash economic devastation this time round, which will be paid for by the people of Russia, including those out protesting against the war, and increasingly being paid for by the citizens of Europe, facing massive energy price hikes, inflation and a catastrophic decline in their living standards. Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot.

And of course this moral outrage at Russia’s illegal war, which has sparked this lunacy, is in sharp contrast to the lack of any such scruples in terms of the illegal US wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, which we not only didn’t condemn, but we actually joined in and continued to do business with them all the way. No such scruples about Saudi Arabia’s genocide in Yemen and, even as the victims of those conflicts in the last few weeks meet to desperately seek financial pledges for their humanitarian crisis, they’re being left short by billions, while we’re happy to spend billions prolonging the war in Ukraine. It makes me absolutely sick.

Seven weeks ago, Germany’s Chancellor Scholz correctly said that peace in Europe cannot be won against Russia. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. Yes, Russia bears responsibility for this conflict. Of course it does. But we cannot ignore the role of NATO and the EU, instead of promoting peace and acting in the interests of the people of Europe, the Ukrainians, the EU citizens, and yes, the Russian citizens too, has become a tool of NATO and a military industrial complex.

What is needed is an end to the conflict, an end to militarism, a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement. We should restore our role as a diplomatic one of promoting peace. Anything else makes us complicit.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue—card question)

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