30 April 2021

EU International News

In the document, the highest legislative body of the EU demands from Russia to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border, to stop escalation in Donbas, to adhere to the regime of silence, to fulfill the Minsk agreements, to unblock ship entry in the Black Sea.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on Russia, which provides for the strengthening of sanctions against Moscow in the form of an embargo on oil and gas exports, and disconnection from the SWIFT system in case of an invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine. The text of the resolution on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic (2021/2642 (RSP)) is published on the website of the European Parliament.

The document states, among other things, that the European Parliament:

a)     Supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders; reiterates its strong support for the EU’s policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol; welcomes all of the restrictive measures taken by the EU as a consequence of the illegal annexation; calls for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia, and deplores the continued human rights violations perpetrated in Crimea and the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine, as well as the large-scale conferral of Russian nationality (passportisation) among citizens in those areas; underlines that Russian officials whose actions or inaction have enabled or resulted in war crimes in Ukraine will have to face international criminal justice.


b)     Regrets the current state of EU-Russia relations caused by Russia’s aggression and continued destabilisation of Ukraine, hostile behaviour towards and outright attacks on EU Member States and societies manifested, inter alia, through interference in election processes, the use of disinformation, deep fakes, malicious cyberattacks, sabotage and chemical weapons, and the significant deterioration in the human rights situation and respect for the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Russia; strongly condemns Russia’s hostile behaviour in Europe and calls on its government to put an end to these activities, which violate international principles and norms and threaten stability in Europe, which prevents any pursuit of a positive bilateral agenda with this important neighbor.


c)     Remains highly concerned by the large Russian military build-up at the border with Ukraine and in the illegally occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which the Russian Ministry of Defence declared to have come to an end; condemns these threatening and destabilising actions led by the Russian Federation and acknowledges with appreciation the proportionate response of Ukraine.


d)     Considers that the EU must draw conclusions from the deeply concerning Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border, which has been suspended as of Friday, 23 April; insists that the return of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine back to their permanent bases must be done fully and without delay; demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours, stop all ongoing provocations and refrain from future ones and de-escalate the situation by withdrawing its forces to their permanent bases, in line with its international obligations, such as the OSCE principles and commitments on transparency of military movements and the Vienna Document; reiterates that the Russian military build-up also presents a threat to European stability, security and peace, which is why an EU security dialogue with Ukraine should be ambitious and contribute to a convergent assessment of the security challenges on the ground; stresses that friendly countries should step up their military support to Ukraine and their provision of defensive weapons, which is in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter that allows individual and collective self-defence; calls on Russia to remove its troops from the so-called People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk and return control of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol to Ukraine.


e)     Urges the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to ensure that the Council remains aware of the military developments despite the announced relocation of Russian troops and remains prepared to agree on further joint action.


f)      Urges Russia to uphold its obligation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to guarantee the freedom of navigation and transit passage through the international strait to the ports of the Sea of Azov; calls for the EU to develop, in close cooperation with Member States and other international partners, the permanent monitoring of the passage of all vessels coming through the Kerch Strait.


g)     Urges Russia and Russian-backed separatists to adhere to the ceasefire agreement; calls on Russia to implement the provisions of the Minsk Agreements, and to engage constructively in the Normandy Process and the Trilateral Contact Group; emphasises the need for a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and a stronger role for the EU in peaceful conflict resolution.


h)     Underscores that if such a military build-up were in the future to be transformed into an invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the EU must make clear that the price for such a violation of international law and norms would be severe; insists, therefore, that in such circumstances imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped, while Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, and all assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families in the EU need to be frozen and their visas cancelled.


i)      Demands that the EU should reduce its dependence on Russian energy, and urges the EU institutions and all Member States, therefore, to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and to demand a stop to the construction of controversial nuclear power plants built by Rosatom.


j)      Reiterates its support for the international investigation into the circumstances of the tragic downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which could possibly constitute a war crime, and reiterates its call to bring the people responsible to justice.