F’intervent li għamel waqt skambju ta’ fehmiet dwar l-aħħar żviluppi tal-gwerra kontra l-Ukrajna, Alfred Sant wissa li fl-implimentazzjoni ta’ aktar sanzjonijiet kontra r-Russja, l-Unjoni Ewropea trid toqgħod attenta li ma tvarax miżuri li jispiċċaw iweġġgħuha aktar fi żmien qasir jew medju milli jweġġgħu r-Russja. Inkella, dan jista’ jkollu konsegwenzi kontroproduttivi kemm f’termini ta’ deterrent kif ukoll ta’ opinjoni pubblika Ewropea. Il-MPE Laburista iżda rrikonoxxa li aktar ma s-sanzjonijiet Ewropej ikunu ħarxa u iebsa aktar se jkunu effettivi.

Il-plenarja tal-Parlament Ewropew kienet qed tiddiskuti u tivvota dwar il-konklużjoni tal-laqgħa tal-Kunsill Ewropew tal-24-25 ta’ Marzu 2022, inkluż l-aħħar żviluppi fil-gwerra kontra l-Ukrajna u s-sanzjonijiet Ewropej kontra r-Russja u l-implimentazzjoni tagħhom. F’riżoluzzjoni konġunta, il-Membri Parlamentari Ewropej talbu għal projbizzjoni fuq l-importazzjonijiet Russi ta’ żejt, faħam, fjuwil nukleari u gass. Lil hinn minn dan, il-Membri Parlamentari Ewropej talbu għall-esklużjoni tal-banek Russi mis-sistema SWIFT u projbizzjoni fuq l-aċċess għall-ibħra territorjali tal-Unjoni Ewropea minn bastimenti Russi u fuq it-trasport bit-triq tal-merkanzija mir-Russja u lejn il-Belarus. Emenda għall-abbozz oriġinali sejħet għal projbizzjoni immedjata fuq il-fjuwils kollha importati lejn l-Ewropa mir-Russja.

Il-Kap tad-Delegazzjoni tal-Partit Laburista fil-Grupp Soċjalista u Demokratiku (S&D) Alfred Sant ivvota kontra din l-emenda li għaddiet minn maġġoranza sostanzjali tal-Membri Parlamentari Ewropej. Madanakollu, ivvota għar-riżoluzzjoni konġunta kif emendata.

Sant stqarr li l-invażjoni tar-Russja tal-Ukrajna u l-modi brutali li bihom iddaħħlet fis-seħħ imminaw kważi għal kollox it-talbiet storiċi u ġeopolitiċi kollha li ġew avvanzati b’mod validu biex jargumentaw kontra l-espansjoni tan-NATO lejn il-Lvant. Il-MPE Laburista enfasizza li kwalunkwe gwadann militari jew diplomatiku Russu mill-hekk imsejħa operazzjoni militari speċjali tagħha se jkun illegali. Dan apparti kwalunkwe akkużi ta’ delitti tal-gwerra li qed jiġu sostnuti kontra r-Russja, huwa saħaq.

Ir-riżoluzzjoni ġiet adottata b’513-il vot favur, 22 kontra u 19-il astensjoni. In-numru ta’ Membri Parlamentari Ewropej assenti għall-vot kien sinifikanti.


Sant warns that sanctions against Russia must not end up wounding Europe more than Russia

Intervening during an exchange of views about the latest developments of the war against Ukraine, Alfred Sant warned that in implementing further sanctions against Russia, the European Union must be careful not to launch measures that end up wounding it more in the short to medium term than they do Russia. Otherwise, this might have counter-productive consequences in terms of both deterrence and of European public opinion. The Labour MEP however acknowledged that the sharper and more biting European sanctions become the more effective they will be. 

The European Parliament’s plenary was debating and voting on the conclusion of the European Council meeting of 24-25 March 2022, including the latest developments in the war against Ukraine and the European sanctions against Russia and their implementation. In a joint resolution, MEPs called for an embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas. Beyond that, MEPs called for the exclusion of Russian banks from the SWIFT system and a ban on access to European Union territorial waters by Russian vessels and on road transport of goods from and to Russia and Belarus. An amendment to the original draft called for an immediate embargo on all fuels imported to Europe from Russia.

The Head of the Labour Party Delegation at the Socialist and Democratic Group (S&D) Alfred Sant voted against this amendment which was passed by a substantial majority of MEPs. However, he voted for the joint resolution as amended. 

Sant stated that Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the brutal ways by which it has been put into effect have undermined almost completely all the historical and geopolitical claims that have been validly advanced to argue against NATO expansion to the East. The Labour MEP emphasized that any Russian military or diplomatic gains from its so-called special military operation will be unlawful. This apart from any accusations of war crimes that are being claimed against Russia, he stressed.

The resolution was adopted with 513 votes in favour, 22 against and 19 abstentions. The number of absent MEPs for the vote was significant.

 

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