„We must show solidarity with Ukraine, not because it’s a matter of sentiment, but because it’s a matter of business,” stresses Ryszard Czarnecki, a member of the European Parliament (PiS/ECR). The politician estimates that Russia’s entry into Ukraine could mean millions of refugees from that country.
In a resolution adopted at this year’s last plenary session, the European Parliament condemned the increased Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine. MEPs are demanding that the government in Moscow immediately withdraw its forces and stop threatening the neighbouring country.
Czarnecki, who is the chairman of the delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, noted that we must be in solidarity with Ukraine not because it is a matter of some sentiment, but a matter of interest.
“Russia’s entry into Ukraine means getting embroiled in a certain war, but it also means hundreds of thousands or millions of refugees from Ukraine, who of course will end up in Poland and later in other Western European countries. We desperately need stability in this region,” said the MEP.
In his speech to the MEPs, he stressed the need for Western solidarity, both from the European Union and NATO. According to the MEP, the lack of this solidarity and the division of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states 13 years ago at the summit in Bucharest resulted in Russia’s aggression against Georgia a few months later.
“Moscow understood then that since the West does not have a unified position, the same policy, on the road map of inviting Georgia on board NATO, it will not defend Georgia so hard. And that’s what happened,” Czarnecki noted.
Given Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO, the text of the adopted EP resolution stressed that “the choice of alliances by any country must not depend on the consent of a third country” and thus rejected Russian attempts to include certain countries in its “sphere of influence” to shape their future.
The resolution reads that the EU must be prepared to send Russia a clear warning that military action against Ukraine will not only be unacceptable but will also come at a high economic and political price.
MEPs also demand that the EU take “credible steps” to reduce dependence on Russian energy imports and show more energy solidarity with Ukraine. In their view, this should be done through the closer interconnection of the EU and Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
The resolution insists that Nord Stream 2 should not go ahead, regardless of whether it meets the EU Gas Directive at some point.