Europe stands with Ukraine: Parliament calls for tougher sanctions against Russia

The European Parliament wants more support for Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia following its invasion of the country.

MEPs called on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops and restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine

During an extraordinary session in Brussels on 1 March to discuss the EU’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Parliament President Roberta Metsola said: "We are here today in the dark shadow cast by Putin’s war. A war we did not provoke. A war we did not start. An outrageous invasion of a sovereign, independent state. On behalf of the European Parliament, I condemn the Russian military aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and express my solidarity with all those suffering and all those killed.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Parliament live from Kyiv. He spoke about the losses sustained by Ukrainians defending their country and and also thanked the EU for its support: “We are fighting for our rights, our freedoms, our lives, and currently - for our survival. We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe. So now, prove that you are with us.”

In a resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority on the same day, members strongly condemned Russia’s illegal invasion and called for stronger sanctions against Russia. They also called on EU countries to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons more quickly, targeted sanctions against people responsible for high-level corruption in Russia and Belarus as well as the end of “golden visas” for rich Russians.

MEPs also urged EU countries to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status.

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