It’s been nine months since Russia began invading Ukraine, and the EU’s response to Moscow is unprecedented. Now the European Parliament is demanding new measures. They also brand Russia as a state sponsoring terrorism and want to use their frozen Russian wealth to help Ukraine. We talked about all this at Global Conversation with Romanian Member of the European Parliament Vlad Gheorghe from the Renew Europe group and Sergey Lagodinsky from the German Greens group.
Vlad George. What does it mean for the future that the European Parliament now calls Russia a state that supports terrorism? Is this about the end of the conflict?
Vlad Gheorghe, Romanian Member of the European Parliament of Renew Europe: “First, we know that everybody knows. What do you call a state that attacks citizens, commits more than 40,000 documented war crimes, tries to kill civilians by freezing or starving them? Now we see this in the European Parliament and we accept it politically.”
Mr. Lagodinsky, do you think Russia will one day be included in the EU’s official terrorism list?
Sergey Lagodinsky:“I think we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I see this decision first and foremost as a political statement and an important sign of solidarity, and above all as an acknowledgment of Russia’s behavior and in the decision it says: First, Russia, Second, Russia is using terrorist units. For example, Wagner If we talk about the brigade or some units of the so-called Chechen army, I would say that their behavior is terrorist and Russia is terrorist. So in that respect we are sure, but we have no legal means to deal with it in the European Union or on the international stage outside the USA. The solution is a solid legal solution. is to try to develop such a thing until we have a basis. It will be very difficult to draw conclusions from what we have done in the legal field.”
The resolution also requires the transfer of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine for aid. How would this work in practice?
Vlad George: “Every decision we make has to be based on a law, and now we are writing this law so that we can first of all get Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine, because we have to start rebuilding Ukraine before the war is over, because people need it from there. Second, our budgets to win back what you’ve met so far.”
Actually, what you said about respect for the rule of law is very interesting, because one of the pillars of Western civilization is respect for private property or respect for state property. Is this a violation of the column?
Sergey Lagodinsky: “We are both rapporteurs on the confiscation of oligarchs or mafia property, property and property in the European Union and we will discuss and negotiate this in Parliament. For that you need someone who commits a crime, a link to assets etc. So to achieve this goal you need a rule-of-law basis. We are trying to find a way When it comes to State assets, there is a long way to go. There is the so-called immunity from State property, which is recognized by international law. But of course there are exceptions, and we need to start talking to the international community whether we have that exception.”
Vlad George: “And the long-term goal is, of course, as Sergei said before me, to find legal ways to get the Russian assets where they need to be and to really devote them to the rebuilding of Ukraine. Because there is one more thing, we are 40,000 euros. It has private assets and about 400,000 million euros in state assets. So that’s a big difference.”
Now the European Parliament is also calling for a new round of sanctions against Russia. What should be included? And do you think now is the time to impose them?
Vlad Gheorghe: “Yes, I think it’s time to impose them. I think this is a perfect example for all dictators, you can say the same about them as we did today, because what we voted for today is Russia is a State of Terror, to anyone who wants to imitate Putin It means saying: Think twice before you want to do something like this.”
How can the European Union continue to support its current policies on Ukraine?
Sergey Lagodinsky: “I think of course it’s a question of aid between Member States. If the Member States don’t help each other, we won’t be able to survive this winter and provide much needed social and financial assistance to citizens. That’s why as the European Union we want to have a solidarity fund that helps member states.” I think we can’t avoid borrowing more mutually.We are not nation-states.But I think supporting the citizen, in terms of social and economic support to companies, should be a priority this winter.This is important, but to be honest, our burdens are not our burdens as I understand it. comparable to the burdens of raped Ukrainians. So I think we should also see that we have the privilege of living in peace, unlike our neighbors under attack.”
Vlad George: “I’ll go with Sergei’s answer. Peace is priceless. You can’t put a price on peace. It is incredibly necessary for all people. We are European. We have it. Now we know how to make better use of it because there is a war on our borders. So yes, of course we have to do more for our citizens, our European citizens. And I am very, very confident that our compatriots will remain in 100% solidarity with the Ukrainians, as they have shown. So remember, it was the citizens of Europe that gave the first reaction to the war, not the European states. And finally, we as a union are only as strong as the ties that bind our states together. This is our strength, our togetherness and our togetherness. If we lose that, we lose everything to Putin.”
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