Ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, MEPs took stock of Russia's war of aggression and discussed how the EU can continue its support for Kyiv.
For the ECR Group, there is no question that Russia must be defeated and that there can be no negotiations with the aggressor, Putin. Speaking on behalf of the Group, ECR Vice-President Beata Szydło stressed that Ukraine must win and that Europe must not let up in its support for the country. Europe must draw conclusions from recent history so that Russia never again poses a threat to peace.
Ms Sydło’s speech reads in full:
“Today, Ukraine is defending peace in Europe. And it is our duty as Europeans to stand by Ukraine and support it, because this is also a way of thanking them for what they are doing for us. It is our duty to support Ukraine politically and economically, as well as in humanitarian and military terms. Decisions must be taken courageously and quickly. There is no time for political calculations, deliberations and doubts.
“Let us recall the events that preceded last year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine. 2008 - Polish President Lech Kaczyński was in Georgia when Russia tried to attack Georgia, and he said very clearly: ‘Today Russia, tomorrow Ukraine, then perhaps my country Poland’.
“Have lessons been learned? No. There was cooperation with Russia the whole time, Putin was received in the salons, there was a policy of reset with Russia, the former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk spoke to Putin as an equal. Then there were economic projects like Nord Stream II — before that, Nord Stream I — then there was an attempt at a so-called reset policy with Russia. And then there was 2014. Have lessons been learned? No. The former German chancellor was on the board of Gazprom, the policy of economic support for Russia was still being implemented.
“I say this not to make accusations, but because we all have to learn from the past. It is necessary to support Ukraine in the same way as those European countries that understand that a victory for Ukraine is a victory for all of us. I would like to thank all those Europeans who have opened their hearts to Ukraine. I want to thank, and I must emphasise, the role of the Polish people, the Polish President Andrzej Duda and the Polish government.
“Ukraine must win, and we must always support it and always learn lessons so that such monstrous aggression never happens again in Europe in the future.”
16 February 2024
16 February 2024
14 February 2024