19:16 01.03.2022

European Parliament calls on EU to work on granting Ukraine candidate status – resolution

5 min read

The European Parliament voted "yes" to a resolution calling on the institutions of the European Union to work towards granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate, thus recognizing Ukraine's European perspective.

The corresponding document entitled "Russian aggression against Ukraine" was voted on Tuesday as part of an extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament, convened because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Some 676 voted, of which 637 gave their affirmative votes, 13 were against, and 26 abstained.

"The European Parliament calls for 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 along the lines of the Association Agreement," the resolution says.

The European Parliament condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation's illegal, unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against and invasion of Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this aggression. "The European Parliament demands that the Russian Federation immediately terminate all military activities in Ukraine, unconditionally withdraw all military and paramilitary forces and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine, and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised border," they said in the European Parliament.

The resolution "firmly condemns the Russian military's use of Belarusian territory, with the support of Belarusian forces, to launch a military aggression against Ukraine, and expresses deep concern about the risks posed by Belarus abandoning its neutrality and hosting the Russian military."

In addition, the EP expresses its "undivided solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who have already suffered through eight years of war in their country, and condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia's actions against Ukraine." "The EP urges continued diplomatic efforts to stop the Russian aggression against Ukraine and find a peaceful solution based on respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the principles of international law, as well as Ukraine's right to decide on future alliances without external interference; urges the Russian Federation to return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy in order to save the people in Ukraine and beyond, as well as its own people, from the scourge of war," the resolution says.

The Parliament also condemned the unilateral recognition by the Russian Federation of the independence of the Russia-occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and called on all countries to refrain from joining it in this recognition. "The European Parliament reiterates that the EU does not recognise and continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea as a violation of international law and remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures and cooperation in international forums," the document reads.

The resolution also says that the European Parliament expresses "its inconsolable grief at the tragic loss of life and human suffering caused by the Russian aggression and stresses that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure as well as indiscriminate attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law and therefore constitute war crimes."

In this regard, the European Parliament underlines that the EU and its Member States "will ensure that the perpetrators of war crimes and human rights violations, including those who assisted such crimes by way of propaganda, will be held accountable; therefore calls for the EU and its Member States to work with international bodies to collect evidence and to support and promote the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction and investigation of any war crime committed within the territory of Ukraine since 20 February 2014 onwards in order to bring to justice Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko."

"The European Parliament calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide further emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in cooperation with UN humanitarian agencies and other international partner organisations; urges the Russian Federation to grant safe and unimpeded access for UN humanitarian agencies, including in the temporarily non-government-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine," the resolution says.

In addition, the European Parliament called for the EU and its Member States to prepare "a multi-billion euro assistance and recovery plan for Ukraine to support the Ukrainian economy and the reconstruction of its destroyed infrastructure; emphasises that the Russian Federation bears the responsibility for the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure, including civilian and residential buildings, as well as the significant economic losses, and will be required to compensate the damage caused by its aggressive actions," the document says.

The EP also reiterated its earlier calls to significantly reduce energy dependence, in particular on Russian gas, oil and coal, definitively abandon the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and calls on Member States to end all nuclear cooperation with Russia, in particular cooperation with Rosatom and its subsidiaries, including cooperation with Russia in the IAEA, as well as to close or revoke the licenses for the activities of all subsidiaries of Rosatom.

In addition, the EP called on other international organizations, in particular in the field of culture and sports, to equally consider suspending Russia's participation. "Calls on other international organizations, in particular in the area of culture and sports, to also consider suspending Russian participation; welcomes in this regard the decision of the European Broadcasting Union to block Russia’s participation in the Eurovision song contest and UEFA's decision to strip Russia of the Champions League Final, as well as the decisions of numerous national teams not to play Russia in World Cup play-offs and other games; calls on other sport federations to suspend Russia's participation in their events, and welcomes FIFA's decision to suspend Russia's participation in the World Cup," the resolution says.