Strasbourg comment: EU must increase support for Ukraine

Written by Jacek Saryusz-Wolski on 19 September 2014 in Special Report
Special Report

Rapporteur Jacek Saryusz-Wolski says association agreement marks a 'milestone' in relations between Europe and Ukraine and raises the possibility of military assistance.

The report I have prepared considered is the recommendation for a conclusion of the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, which took place on 16 September.

The ratification of the association agreement is a milestone in the relations between the two parties. It institutionalises the European choice of Ukrainians, who were deceived a year ago at the eastern partnership summit in Vilnius, resulting in an unprecedented social movement.

"Ukrainian society has paid the highest price for their European aspirations, grieving deaths of numerous people, suffering territorial occupation by Russia, and experiencing a deteriorating economic situation"

The heroic and victorious EuroMaidan is a symbol of the fight in the name of commitment to European values. Ukrainian society has paid the highest price for their European aspirations, grieving deaths of numerous people, suffering territorial occupation by Russia, and experiencing a deteriorating economic situation.

The simultaneous vote of ratification in two European cities, Kyiv and Strasbourg, the capital of Europe and the capital of Ukraine, by two democratically elected parliaments, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the European parliament, is a strong symbolic message to Ukrainian society and proof of the sharing of common European values and destiny. This gesture was even more necessary now than it seemed to be some time ago, in the face of the increasing Russian pressure, invasion and warfare directed against Ukraine by Russia.

For its part, the European Union has assisted Ukraine with economic, political and technical help, including a large support package of up to €11bn and the establishment of the support group. Furthermore, the member states have decided on the implementation of economic sanctions towards Russia. However, in order to definitely stop Russia, we must establish much stronger sanctions, with a cost too high for Russia to bear; and increase our support for Ukraine, including military assistance. The cost of those actions will be high for the European Union, but prevention is less expensive than the cost of a potential wider conflict.

About the author

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski is a member of parliament's delegation to the EU-Ukraine parliamentary cooperation committee

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