Callanan calls on the European Parliament to suspend relations with Russian Duma
European Conservatives and Reformists Group President Martin Callanan has today written to European Parliament President Martin Schulz calling on him to suspend the parliament’s relations with those members of the Russian Duma responsible for supporting the ongoing incursion into Ukraine, and to consider cutting off all contact with the Duma until Russian forces are withdrawn to their permanent stations.
The letter reads:
Dear President Schulz,
The deepening crisis in Ukraine requires a swift and united response to prevent an already fragile situation descending into full-scale violence.
Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity is a blatant breach of international law and its own commitments. We must be prepared to consider all options at our disposal in response to this act of Russian Imperialism.
I welcome international efforts to reach a peaceful solution. I also welcome the statement by the Council on Monday reconfirming its offer of the Association Agreement to Ukraine. It is vital the European Union shows solidarity with its people and holds out the prospect of deepening trade and economic relations.
However, without a peaceful solution to the crisis at this stage, I believe robust, punitive measures against Moscow cannot be ruled out. Visas can be denied, travel restricted, and assets frozen so that those responsible for such aggression understand that their actions will not go unchecked by the international community.
It is my view that the European Parliament should also suspend, with immediate effect, all relations with those Russian MPs who voted to mobilise the Russian military’s intervention in Crimea.
I further believe that the European Parliament should seriously consider suspending all political relations with the Russian State Duma and the Federation Council until such time as Russian forces in Ukraine are withdrawn to the areas of their permanent stationing in accordance with existing agreements.
I believe this crisis is a watershed moment for the European Union. Such an act of blatant aggression in our Eastern neighbourhood and in a country which borders the EU cannot go without response.
The European Parliament must speak with one voice in condemning Russia’s aggression. We have a key role to play in reaching a peaceful political solution which respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and obligations under international law.
Yours sincerely, Martin Callanan MEP