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Thursday, 29 February 2024 - Strasbourg
The need for unwavering EU support for Ukraine, after two years of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine

European Parliament resolution of 29 February 2024 on the need for unwavering EU support for Ukraine, after two years of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine (2024/2526(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Ukraine and on Russia, in particular those adopted since the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine in February 2022 and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula on 19 February 2014,

–  having regard to the Association Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part(1), and to the accompanying Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the European Union and Ukraine, signed in 2014,

–  having regard to the UN Charter, the Hague Conventions, the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols thereto, and to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 20 June 2023 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the Ukraine Facility (COM(2023)0338),

–  having regard to the European Council’s decision of 14 December 2023 to open accession negotiations with Ukraine, following the Commission’s positive recommendation of 8 November 2023 in this regard,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 14 December 2023 and 1 February 2024,

–  having regard to the report of 14 February 2024 by the World Bank, the Government of Ukraine, the Commission and the UN entitled ‘Ukraine: Third Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3) February 2022-December 2023’,

–  having regard to the report of 9 February 2024 of the High-Level Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of the War entitled ‘An environmental compact for Ukraine – A Green Future꞉ Recommendations for Accountability and Recovery’,

–  having regard to Rules 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Russia has been carrying out an illegal, unprovoked and unjustified full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine since 24 February 2022; whereas Russia’s war against Ukraine started in 2014 with the illegal occupation and annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the subsequent occupation of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions; whereas this war of aggression constitutes a blatant and flagrant violation of the UN Charter and of the fundamental principles of international law; whereas Russia’s actions in Ukraine over the past two years continue to threaten peace and security in Europe and worldwide;

B.  whereas the UN General Assembly, in its resolution of 2 March 2022, immediately qualified the Russian war against Ukraine as an act of aggression in violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, and, in its resolution of 14 November 2022, recognised the need to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its war of aggression and legally and financially responsible for its internationally wrongful acts, including by making reparation for the injury and damage caused;

C.  whereas the Russian war of aggression is the largest military conflict on the European continent since the end of the Second World War and reflects the growing conflict between authoritarianism and democracy;

D.  whereas Ukraine and its citizens have shown unwavering determination in resisting Russia’s war of aggression, successfully defending their country, despite the high cost in civilian and military casualties, along with the destruction and weaponisation of civilian and public infrastructure, the natural environment and cultural heritage; whereas the brave people of Ukraine were awarded the 2022 Sakharov Prize as a tribute to their courage and resilience;

E.  whereas millions of Ukrainians continue to be displaced inside and outside Ukraine, having fled from Russia’s aggression; whereas more than 3.3 million people, including 800 000 children, are living along the front line; whereas homes, schools and hospitals continue to be bombed every day; whereas, according to the International Organization for Migration, Russia’s campaign of destruction in 2023 left nearly 720 000 people in the worst-affected parts of Ukraine with no access to adequate and safe housing; whereas the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian populated areas spiked in December 2023, highlighting the persistent pattern of civilian death, destruction and humanitarian needs throughout 2023;

F.  whereas Russia’s war crimes will leave an entire population traumatised, as 10 million people are estimated to be at risk of or living with a mental health condition, and 3.9 million people are estimated to be suffering from moderate to severe symptoms requiring treatment for mental distress, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder; whereas in 2023, 227 incidents affecting humanitarian operations in the country were reported, with 50 humanitarian workers killed or injured, including 11 killed in the line of duty;

G.  whereas, according to the conservative estimates of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, almost two years into Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 10 000 civilians have been killed and nearly 20 000 injured, with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) believing that the actual figures are considerably higher;

H.  whereas Ukrainian children are paying the ultimate price in the war, as over 520 Ukrainian children have been killed and over 1 226 wounded, 1,8 million have had to cross into neighbouring countries as refugees and another 2,5 million are internally displaced within Ukraine;

I.  whereas since the beginning of the full-scale war of aggression, approximately 20 000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia and Belarus or detained in the occupied territories; whereas the ICC has issued international arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova in view of their responsibility for committing the war crime of unlawful deportation and for the unlawful transfer of children from occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation; whereas fewer than 400 deported children have been returned to Ukraine and reunited with their families;

J.  whereas the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has been alarmed by reports and testimonies pointing to inhumane detention conditions of the Ukrainian civilians and prisoners of war held by Russia, including torture and the lack of medical care, resulting in permanent damage to their health; whereas there are known cases of the Russian military killing Ukrainian soldiers instead of taking them prisoner, including those most recently reported on 24 February 2024 in the Bakhmut area; whereas in 2022, more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war, mostly members of the Azov Battalion, were deliberately killed in a premeditated explosion at the prison in Olenivka;

K.  whereas women and girls are particularly at risk during humanitarian and displacement crises, as they continue disproportionately to be the victims of gender-based violence; whereas many women have stayed in Ukraine and have been mobilised to serve in the armed forces; whereas there are indications that female Ukrainian soldiers in captivity have been tortured and subjected to sexual violence; whereas the OHCHR has reported that, as men represent the majority of victims of summary executions by Russian forces in occupied territories, surviving family members – many of them women – are left behind to cope, often on their own, with limited family income, increased caregiver burdens and intense mental trauma and distress;

L.  whereas the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to withstand the Russian invasion, liberated more than 50 % of the territories temporarily occupied after 24 February 2022 and regained control of Ukraine’s western access to the Black Sea, effectively pushing out the Russian Black Sea Fleet;

M.  whereas the EU has provided substantial support in all areas, including military support, since the start of the full-scale invasion; whereas the overall assistance pledged to Ukraine by the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions since February 2022 amounts to at least EUR 85 billion, including humanitarian and emergency assistance, budget support, macro-financial assistance and military aid; whereas EUR 17 billion was provided to Member States to host some 4 million Ukrainian refugees, who have been offered extended protection under the Temporary Protection Directive(2) until March 2025;

N.  whereas the EU and its Member States have so far provided military aid amounting to EUR 28 billion, and have committed a preliminary amount of approximately EUR 21,2 billion for 2024; whereas the European Peace Facility was used to provide EUR 5,6 billion for the transfer of military equipment to Ukraine by Member States; whereas the ammunition initiative, which was initially supposed to provide 1 million rounds of 155 mm shells to Ukraine by March 2024, now aims to deliver approximately half of that amount by that date, and the other half by the end of 2024; whereas the EU Military Assistance Mission in Support of Ukraine has so far trained 40 000 Ukrainian soldiers in Germany and Poland and the number is only increasing;

O.  whereas the Western countries’ combined GDP is 25 times greater than that of Russia, yet in 2023 Western military assistance to Ukraine amounted to less than 0,1 % of this combined GDP; whereas in 2023, Russia spent approximately 6 % of its GDP on its war of aggression and Ukraine spent the equivalent of 25 % of its GDP on its defence;

P.  whereas the US Congress has so far failed to adopt a new USD 60 billion package of support to Ukraine for 2024, which has essentially led to a halt in US aid commitments and military deliveries to Ukraine; whereas to fully replace the US military support in 2024, the EU and its Member States would have to double their current level and pace of military support;

Q.  whereas NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that NATO members must prepare themselves for a possible confrontation with Russia that could last decades; whereas Russia’s war of aggression has had the direct consequence of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia being granted EU candidate country status, robust security assistance packages being delivered to Ukraine by over 50 countries and strong political support for Ukraine being expressed at the UN;

R.  whereas the European Council decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine following the positive recommendation of the Commission, and further invited the Council to adopt the negotiating framework once the relevant Commission recommendations are met;

S.  whereas Ukraine has signed security agreements with the UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Italy in line with the G7 joint declaration of support for Ukraine, which was agreed on 12 July 2023 on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius; whereas the G7’s commitment opened the door to negotiations to formalise long-term bilateral security commitments and arrangements in support of Ukraine;

T.  whereas, according to reports, Russia has dramatically reoriented its economy towards a ‘war economy’, combined with plans for very high defence spending estimated at well over EUR 100 billion; whereas Russia reportedly produces more than 2 million artillery shells per year domestically, which is significantly more than the quantity EU governments had promised to Ukraine;

U.  whereas the EU has adopted 13 packages of sanctions since the onset of the war and has created a new role of International Special Envoy for the Implementation of EU Sanctions, specifically tasked with tackling the evasion and circumvention of sanctions targeting Russia and Belarus as its proxy;

V.  whereas it is estimated that the EU and other partners have frozen EUR 300 billion of Russia’s central bank reserves and EUR 21,5 billion in Russian oligarchs’ money, while the US and other Western allies have blocked or seized more than USD 58 billion in assets owned or controlled by sanctioned Russians;

W.  whereas the EU institutions recently reached an agreement to establish a Ukraine Facility that will offer EUR 50 billion in predictable medium-term support, in the form of grants and loans, for the repair, recovery, reconstruction and modernisation of Ukraine from 2024 to 2027;

X.  whereas Russia’s war of aggression shows its imperialistic attitude towards its neighbours; whereas as long as Russia remains a state pursuing revisionist policies, it will continue its efforts to maintain the ever-looming threat of aggression on the European continent; whereas numerous international actors have recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and a state that uses means of terrorism;

Y.  whereas Russia is responsible for the global food security crisis, as a result of its war of aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian seaports; whereas Russia has been weaponising food and hunger since the beginning of the war;

Z.  whereas the ICC, following two ad hoc declarations by Ukraine, has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide when committed on the territory of Ukraine since November 2013, but does not have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression defined in Article 8 bis of the Rome Statute in this situation, as neither Ukraine nor the Russian Federation have ratified the Rome Statute and the amendments related to the crime of aggression; whereas the EU supports the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression;

AA.  whereas Ukraine’s natural environment has been a specific target in the war, as Russia has been blatantly using massive environmental damage, such as burning fields and forests, illegally logging Ukrainian lumber and contaminating water and soil with chemical waste, resulting in the destruction of the country’s land and habitability, and limiting future generations’ ability to thrive and prosper; whereas the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on 6 June 2023 is a clear example of actions by Russia that will continue to cause ecological devastation in the years to come;

AB.  whereas on 13 February 2024, Maksim Kuzminov, a former Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine in 2023, was found dead in Spain, murdered by gunmen reportedly sent by the Russian Government; whereas over the last few decades, the Russian intelligence services have carried out a number of brazen covert operations, including assassinations, on EU territory;

1.  Reiterates its unwavering solidarity with the people and leadership of Ukraine and its support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders;

2.  Reiterates its condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as of the involvement of the regime in Belarus; demands that Russia and its proxy forces cease all military actions and that Russia withdraw all military forces, proxies and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine; demands that the settlement of Russian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine cease and be reversed;

3.  Recalls that the Russian war of aggression started with the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in February 2014, followed by the occupation of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts; recalls that the peninsula was turned into a military base and served as a springboard for the full-scale invasion in 2022;

4.  Condemns the torture and killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians by the Russian side; calls for an independent investigation into and the prosecution of such crimes, and calls for increased efforts to exchange prisoners between Ukraine and Russia;

5.  Condemns Russia’s attempts to deny Ukraine and its people their ethnic, linguistic and historical identity by erasing signs of Ukrainian identity in the occupied and annexed territories, banning the use of the Ukrainian language and symbols, as well as the intensive policy of ‘passportisation’ and the repeated attempts by the Russian President and other officials to rewrite history;

6.  Believes that the outcome of the war and the stance taken by the international community will play a crucial role in influencing future action by other authoritarian regimes, which are closely observing the course of the war and assessing how much space there is for them to exert aggressive foreign policies, including by military means;

7.  Underlines that the main objective is for Ukraine to win the war against Russia, which entails driving all the forces of Russia and its proxies and allies out of the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine; considers that this objective can be met only through the continued, sustained and steadily increasing supply of all types of conventional weapons to Ukraine, without exception;

8.  Acknowledges the resilience and determination demonstrated by the Ukrainian people in their pursuit of democratic values, reform efforts and aspirations for integration into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations;

9.  Recalls the importance of liberating and de-occupying the Crimean peninsula, which has been occupied by Russia for a decade now; recalls that citizens of the peninsula who are loyal to Ukraine, in particular the indigenous Tatars, face repression, arrest and torture; recalls that the Russian occupying forces have made every effort to erase Tatar heritage and the memory of Ukraine’s presence in the peninsula, and that they continue their attempts to forcibly change the demographic composition of the population, which may amount to acts of genocide as described in the Genocide Convention; supports Ukraine’s efforts to reintegrate Crimea, in particular the Crimea Platform;

10.  Reaffirms its support for consistently providing military aid to Ukraine for as long as necessary and in whatever form necessary for Ukraine to win; recognises the efforts made by the Member States in providing and by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) in coordinating military support to Ukraine to date; reiterates its call on the Member States to substantially increase and accelerate their military support, in particular the provision of weapons and ammunition in response to clearly identified needs, with a view to not only allowing Ukraine to defend itself against Russian attacks, but also to enabling it to regain full control over its entire internationally recognised territory; underlines that the insufficient and delayed delivery of weapons and ammunition risks undermining the efforts made so far; expresses concern that the target of 1 million rounds of ammunition will not be met as promised; calls on the Member States and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to present to Parliament information about past deliveries of military aid to Ukraine, including the audit conducted by the EEAS, and the amount of aid Member States are willing to commit during 2024;

11.  Believes that there should be no self-imposed restriction on military assistance to Ukraine; points to the huge divergence of military support provided by EU Member States as a percentage of their GDP; calls for the necessary investment in the European defence industrial base so as to substantially increase output in order to meet Ukrainian needs and replenish EU Member States’ depleted stocks; underlines that Ukraine is in particular need of sophisticated air-defence systems, long-range missiles such as TAURUS, Storm Shadow/SCALP and others, modern combat aircraft, various types of artillery and ammunition (155 mm in particular), drones and weapons to counter them; supports the proposal that all EU Member States and NATO allies should support Ukraine militarily with no less than 0,25 % of their GDP annually; calls for an overall increase in the financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility and insists that this should be used, among other things, for the single source procurement of available ammunition on the world market to meet Ukraine’s needs; urges the governments of the Member States to immediately enter into dialogue with defence companies in order to guarantee that the production and delivery of, in particular, ammunition, shells and missiles for Ukraine are prioritised over orders from other third countries; calls for the EU and its Member States to explore the possibilities for joint ventures and close cooperation with defence industries from like-minded third countries for the purposes of providing the necessary ammunition to Ukraine; urges in particular the largest Member States with substantial defence industrial capacities to significantly and urgently increase military assistance to Ukraine; calls on the US House of Representatives to adopt the military assistance package for Ukraine without any further delay;

12.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to fulfil the commitments of the 2022 Versailles Declaration and to accelerate the full implementation of the Strategic Compass by enhancing European military cooperation at industrial and armed-forces level, in order to make the EU a stronger and more capable security provider that is interoperable and complementary with NATO; welcomes the Member States’ and EU institutions’ increased budgets and investments in defence, and calls for an increase in targeted spending, joint procurement and joint investment in defence research and development; stresses that concrete steps should be taken towards Ukraine’s integration into EU defence and cybersecurity policies and programmes during the EU membership process;

13.  Welcomes the signing of security agreements between Ukraine and the UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Italy, in line with the G7 joint declaration of support for Ukraine, and calls on other like-minded partners to follow suit; underlines that these security agreements cannot be considered a substitute for future NATO membership; welcomes the progress made on the practical details and financial ceiling for a new Ukraine Assistance Fund, under the European Peace Facility, which would support the provision of military equipment to Ukraine through joint European procurement initiatives;

14.  Reiterates its support for the peace formula presented by Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy; believes that it is a comprehensive plan to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity; recalls that the plan’s 10 points were reflected in UN General Assembly Resolution ES-11/6 of 23 February 2023 on principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine;

15.  Reiterates its call on the Commission, the VP/HR and the Member States to work together with Ukraine and the international community on setting up a special tribunal to investigate and prosecute the crime of aggression committed against Ukraine by Russia’s leaders and their allies, such as the regime in Belarus; welcomes the establishment of the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine in The Hague;

16.  Expresses its full support for the ongoing investigation by the Prosecutor of the ICC into the situation in Ukraine based on alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; urges Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC and its amendments and formally become a member of the ICC in order to support international efforts to establish accountability for serious international crimes; calls for the EU to make further diplomatic efforts to encourage the ratification of the Rome Statute and all its amendments globally;

17.  Expresses horror at the fact that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has resulted in one of the fastest growing large-scale displacements of children since the Second World War; recalls that, as a result of the massive targeting of civilian infrastructure, Ukrainian children are severely deprived of access to basic services, such as education and healthcare, in particular mental health support;

18.  Reiterates that the continued forced relocation and deportation of Ukrainian children, including those from institutions, to Russia and Belarus and their forced adoption by Russian families is in breach of Ukrainian and international law; underlines that forcibly transferring children of a group to another group constitutes the crime of genocide, according to Article II of the Genocide Convention; demands that the Russian and Belarusian authorities ensure the immediate return of all Ukrainian children; praises the efforts of local Ukrainian organisations that, on a case-by-case basis, support parents and families in searching for their children and fighting for their safe return;

19.  Reiterates its condemnation of the forcible deportation of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia, and Belarus; calls on all states and international organisations to press Russia to return all forcibly deported and illegally imprisoned Ukrainian civilians, especially children, including the remains of all those who died in captivity; urges the EU and its Member States to intensify the search for mechanisms to facilitate the release of Ukrainian civilians illegally detained by Russia, including through UN mechanisms;

20.  Regrets the fact that the Temporary Protection Directive is interpreted so narrowly that many women who have fled Russia’s war of aggression cannot access abortion care or other sexual and reproductive health treatments, including treatments following sexual abuse; is appalled by the fact that, as a consequence, many women have been forced to return to war-torn Ukraine to access sexual and reproductive health and rights services and reproductive care; calls on the Commission to review the directive in order to ensure that all Member States are obliged to offer the same care that women could otherwise receive in Ukraine;

21.  Condemns Russia’s intention to conduct presidential elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine on 15-17 March 2024 and underlines that it will not recognise the results of these illegal elections;

22.  Reiterates its call for innovative, complementary and flexible interaction between the ongoing work on the implementation of the Association Agreement currently in force and the accession negotiation process, thus allowing for Ukraine’s gradual integration into the EU single market and sectoral programmes, including access to EU funds in the respective areas, so that Ukrainians can reap the benefits of accession throughout the process and not only upon its completion; welcomes Ukraine’s successful actions that re-opened the Black Sea route for Ukrainian grain to reach its traditional markets; calls on the relevant international stakeholders to permanently secure these achievements and the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea for commercial purposes; supports the Commission proposal to renew the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the EU; urges the Commission to address any reports of market disruption caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the trade benefits conceded to Ukraine; calls on the Commission and the Member States to address the reasons for any unilateral actions, such as border blockades, that would limit Ukraine’s access to the EU single market, to establish effective measures to monitor the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products and to introduce measures to mitigate the effects on European farmers, whose reasonable protests and demands are also being exploited and targeted by Russian disinformation; calls for the EU. its Member States, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Trade Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other players to show greater solidarity and stabilise the grain market; calls for the EU and its Member States to halt the import and transit through EU territory of Russian grain and of grain stolen from Ukraine;

23.  Underlines that the Russian war of aggression has fundamentally changed the geopolitical situation in Europe and beyond, and threatens its security architecture, and that the response to this necessitates bold, brave and comprehensive political, security and financial decisions by the EU;

24.  Welcomes the European Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with Ukraine once the Commission’s recommendations are met; believes that Ukraine’s membership of the EU represents a geostrategic investment in a united and strong Europe and that it equates to showing leadership, resolve and vision;

25.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to set out a clear pathway for the accession negotiations, focusing on providing tangible benefits for Ukrainian society and citizens from the start of the process; invites the Council to task the Commission with immediately submitting proposals for the relevant negotiating framework and to adopt it once the relevant steps set out in the respective Commission recommendations of 8 November 2023 have been taken;

26.  Recalls that the EU accession process will be merit-based and that the enlargement methodology puts an emphasis on the crucial areas of respect for the rule of law, fundamental values, human rights, democracy and the fight against corruption; believes that a firmly merit-based accession process is in the best interest of both Ukraine and the EU; encourages the EU and its Member States to provide increased support and assistance to Ukraine on its path to EU accession, including technical expertise, capacity building and the institutional reforms necessary to meet the membership criteria;

27.  Calls on the Ukrainian Government to continue to strengthen local self-government, a reform that has received significant national and international acclaim, and to embed the success of the decentralisation reform in the overall architecture of Ukraine’s repair, recovery and reconstruction processes; reiterates its position that representatives of local self-government and civil society in Ukraine must be actively involved in the recovery and reconstruction process and that this process must meet the highest standards of transparency and accountability;

28.  Welcomes the EU institutions’ agreement in principle on the establishment of the Ukraine Facility, which will provide predictable financial assistance to Ukraine, and calls for its rapid deployment; underlines the strengthened role of the Verkhovna Rada, sub-national entities and civil society as relevant partners for the executive authority in identifying the priorities that will be financed via the Ukraine Plan, stressing that this also increases the oversight and monitoring of the Facility; points to the estimate of the World Bank’s latest Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment of at least EUR 452,8 billion over the next decade for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction; stresses, therefore, that the funds provided for under the Ukraine Facility will not be sufficient and calls for the EU and its Member States to commit to additional long-term financing for Ukraine, in particular given that the latest US aid package for Ukraine remains blocked in Congress;

29.  Calls for the EU, the Member States and like-minded partners to provide comprehensive and coordinated political, economic, technical and humanitarian assistance to support the sustainable and inclusive post-war reconstruction and recovery of Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on the restoration of essential infrastructure, healthcare, education and social services; considers that the reconstruction of Ukraine must prioritise the well-being of the Ukrainian people over favouring oligarchs and corporate profits; calls for the EU and the Member States to continue to provide medical treatment and rehabilitation, including psychological support, to injured and bereaved Ukrainian soldiers and civilians; calls for continuous attention and increased support for demining activities in Ukraine and for a long-term demining programme;

30.  Emphasises the need to support Ukraine in re-establishing the conditions that will allow its people to resume a safe and prosperous economic and social life and to recover from the profound consequences of the war on mental health, for internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their homes, and, in particular for the country’s younger generations, to develop personal, educational and entrepreneurial projects; underlines, in addition, the need to take into account the concerns, needs and expertise of internally displaced persons and refugees in the recovery and reconstruction process, as their reintegration into local communities will be crucial for strengthening Ukraine’s societal and institutional resilience and its unity;

31.  Calls on the Council to maintain and extend its sanctions policy against Russia and Belarus, while monitoring, reviewing and enhancing its effectiveness and impact; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the swift implementation and strict enforcement of all 13 packages of sanctions; asks the Commission for an impact assessment on the sanctions’ effectiveness in hindering the Russian war effort and on the circumvention of sanctions; recalls that the EU is working on legislation to designate the violation of restrictive measures a criminal offence; reiterates its call on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to develop a sanction circumvention prevention mechanism;

32.  Insists on the need to ban Russian uranium and metallurgical imports into the EU, as well as cooperation with the Russian nuclear sector and Rosatom in particular; calls for an immediate and full embargo on Russian imports into the EU of agricultural and fishery products, as well as fossil fuels and liquefied natural gas transported by sea through pipelines, and to further decrease the price-cap on Russian petroleum products in coordination with G7 partners in order to stop financing Russia’s war with EU money; calls, in addition, for punitive measures to be imposed against Russia’s ‘shadow fleet’, which transports oil without insurance on precarious vessels through EU and international waters, and for sanctions against companies from China and other countries helping Russia to circumvent sanctions; calls for the current military and dual-use licensing regime to be expanded to include a much larger group of war-relevant goods, including digital components; calls for the sanctions against Belarus to be fully aligned with those against Russia; calls for further persons identified by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation to be included on the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime and other sanctions lists;

33.  Condemns all those countries that are supplying military equipment to Russia and assisting it in circumventing and avoiding the effects of the sanctions imposed on it, and calls for the EU to rigorously prosecute companies, associations and individuals participating in the circumvention of sanctions; calls for the EU, the Member States and their allies to strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions already imposed, to take urgent steps to block any attempt to circumvent these sanctions and to work on a secondary sanctions mechanism that would close any loopholes;

34.  Reminds businesses, individuals, financial institutions and others that operate in or have value chains linked to the Russian Federation or the areas it occupies in Ukraine, including investors, consultants, non-governmental organisations and due diligence service providers, that they will face significant operational, legal, economic and reputational risks associated with their Russian business operations and relationships; calls on the Member States to take particular measures to prevent advanced technological products that are being exported to third countries from ending up in Russia;

35.  Insists that circumventing a Union restrictive measure, including by transferring goods to a destination where their import, export, sale, purchase, transfer, transit or transport are restricted, should be criminalised at EU level; stresses that it is critical for enforcement that the EU quickly criminalise direct sanctions violations, including when committed with serious negligence, as well as indirect sanctions violations through the circumvention of Union restrictive measures; welcomes the recently reached agreement in principle between EU institutions on new rules criminalising the violation of EU sanctions;

36.  Condemns Russia’s practice of blocking any action at UN level aimed at holding it accountable for its war of aggression against Ukraine; calls for the EU and its Member States to take further action to continue Russia’s international isolation, including with regard to Russia’s membership of international organisations and bodies, such as the UN Security Council;

37.  Underlines the urgency of establishing a sound legal regime allowing for the confiscation of Russian state-owned assets frozen by the EU, and for their use to address the various consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including the reconstruction of the country and compensation for the victims of Russia’s aggression, thereby strengthening the resilience of Ukraine; underlines its conviction that once the war ends, Russia must be obliged to pay the reparations imposed on it to ensure that it makes a substantial contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine; welcomes the creation of the Register of Damage caused by the Russian aggression, which is the first step in the establishment of an international compensation mechanism; welcomes, therefore, the Council’s decision to set aside, as a first step, extraordinary revenues generated by assets and reserves of the Central Bank of Russia immobilised under EU sanctions, which will allow them to be used to make a financial contribution to the EU’s support for the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine through the Ukraine Facility;

38.  Reiterates its concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is illegally controlled by Russia; supports efforts to maintain a continued International Atomic Energy Agency presence at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant; recalls and condemns Russia’s actions that have inflicted severe damage on the environment in Ukraine, including the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam, the logging of Ukrainian forests, extensive mining and the contamination of air and water resources; reiterates its deep concern about the broader long-term environmental impact of the war; underlines the need to create a system for recording and assessing the environmental damage caused by Russia and to prepare legal grounds for Russia’s accountability for those crimes;

39.  Strongly condemns Russia’s eradication, destruction and looting of Ukraine’s cultural artefacts, such as churches, artworks, museums and universities; takes note of the damage, as verified by UNESCO, that has been caused to 341 sites since the start of the full-scale invasion, including 126 religious sites, 150 buildings of historical and/or artistic interest, 31 museums, 19 monuments, 14 libraries and 1 archive; reiterates that the deliberate destruction and looting of Ukrainian cultural heritage sites may amount to war crimes;

40.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to work strategically and proactively to counter hybrid threats, to strengthen EU strategic communication and to prevent Russia’s interference in political, electoral and other democratic processes in Ukraine and in the EU, in particular malicious acts aimed at manipulating public opinion and undermining European integration, particularly in the light of the upcoming European elections; calls on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to provide relevant information on the mutual benefits and opportunities of enlargement both in Ukraine and in the Member States in order to further increase support and improve understanding of the accession process;

41.  Condemns the assassination of Maksim Kuzminov in Spain; calls on the Member States to respond promptly and with resolve against disruptive actions by the Russian intelligence services within the EU’s territory; recommends that the Member States enhance counterintelligence cooperation and information-sharing;

42.  Expresses concern about the restriction of foreign travel of members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; believes that this could be considered indiscriminate restriction of the political activity of elected members of parliament, in particular of those representing the opposition; strongly believes that in times of war, any political resource that can represent Ukraine’s cause in any international forum should not be disregarded;

43.  Expresses its utmost appreciation for the continued and tireless work of the local staff of the Delegation of the EU to Ukraine in circumstances that remain very difficult for them and their relatives; urges the EEAS and the Commission to adopt contingency plans and interim solutions for the local staff of the EU Delegation, including teleworking and flexible working arrangements and temporary relocation solutions, which are tailored to meeting the actual needs and challenges of the staff; stresses, in addition, the importance of taking adequate care of the mental health of the EU Delegation’s staff;

44.  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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President, Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the United Nations and the Russian and Belarusian authorities.

(1) OJ L 161, 29.5.2014, p. 3.
(2) Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof (OJ L 212, 7.8.2001, p. 12).

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