Renew Europe calls for even stronger sanctions against Russia, as European Parliament calls for EU candidate status

Author: Antoine Lucien Desire Guery

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The European Parliament, sitting in an extraordinary plenary session on Russian aggression in Ukraine, today heard directly from President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the debate, Renew Europe saluted the courage of Ukrainians, called for even stronger sanctions against Putin’s regime, EU candidate status for Ukraine and internal reform so the EU can guarantee its sovereignty.

President of Renew Europe, Stéphane Séjourné MEP, said:

‘We salute the courage of the men and women of Ukraine who are fighting not only for their homeland but for their right to choose their destiny. In recent days, Europe has shown that it is also the best ally of the Ukrainian people. Europe has also shown that it is the shield that protects democracy and our freedoms for every people in the Union.’

Commenting on the European Parliament’s vote to ask for EU candidate status for Ukraine, Stéphane Séjourné MEP said:

The granting of candidate status is important. Ukraine will not join the EU for years and a rigorous process. But it is time for us to recognise that Ukrainians, through the blood shed in the name of freedom and democracy, are already members of our community of destiny. Candidate status is this just recognition.

Renew Europe calls for even stronger sanctions:

We expect even stronger sanctions, with one objective: to dry up the financing of the war and of the Putin clan in order to put an end to his regime and to this war. Trade embargoes on technology, oil and gas, seizures of oligarchs' properties, ending golden passports and residence rights. These measures have a cost for our economies: we therefore call on Europe to mutualise these costs at European level for the countries and companies most exposed.’ said Stéphane Séjourné.

The EU also has work to do, declared Stéphane Séjourné MEP:

I would like to conclude by reminding you that this crisis shows that Europe still has to work to guarantee its sovereignty. This long-term work towards our strategic autonomy must include a review of our defence budgets, both at national and European level, as well as a strategy for energy autonomy.