‘We stand with Ukraine’
Petras Auštrevičius MEP (EPP, Lithuania) and Viola von Cramon MEP (Green, Germany) along with other MEPs wanted to communicate their support for the strongest possible response should Russia take military steps against Ukraine.
“We have seen that people are concerned about a possible military invasion in the east, in the south, in the north of Ukraine,” said Von Cramon. “We, the European Union have to stay united, we have to show solidarity, but we also have to deliver support through financial support, personal engagement, but also I think, in the end, we have to find opportunities to show support in military terms.”
“The more we are united and the more we embrace Ukraine, through projects with the European Union, as well as through NATO, the more secure Ukraine will be and the more secure we will be,” Auštrevičius said.Advertisement
When asked about the response of the German government to the crisis, von Cramon said that the message may have sounded a bit mixed, but that there was a lot of financial support and the Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock had visited the front line and said that what she saw at Shyrokine shocked her.
A survey carried out by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) found that Europeans believe the EU should come to Ukraine’s aid in the event of Russian aggression. The survey of seven EU member states — ‘The Crisis of European Security: What Europeans Think About the War in Ukraine’ — also detected that, when it comes to defending Ukraine, Europeans put their trust in both NATO and the EU, and do not trust the United States to be as, or more, committed to the defence of the EU citizens’ interest in the event that Russia invades Ukraine.Advertisement
In all countries, with the exception of Poland and Romania, the survey also found that more people trust Germany, rather than the United States. Even in Poland, respondents see NATO (75%) and the EU (67%) – not the United States (63%) – as those who are the most trustworthy on that matter.
Europeans see energy dependency as their most significant shared challenge in dealing with Russia. Majorities in all surveyed countries, apart from Sweden (47%), say that Russia’s stance towards Ukraine poses a security threat to their country in that area. This view is most pronounced in Poland, where 77% of respondents see Russia’s stance towards Ukraine as a large security threat in the area of energy dependence. In Germany, the biggest consumer of Russian gas in the EU, the corresponding number stands at 59%; while elsewhere, majorities in Finland (59%), France (51%), Italy (68%) and Romania (65%) also share this view.
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