Ukraine, we remember 🇺🇦

Dear readers, 

Today marks two years since Putin started his fully fledged invasion of Ukraine. 370 days of horror, of massacre, of murder. I will never forget the things I saw and the stories I heard when I visited Bucha and Irpin, the desperation of a people that saw how tanks rolled into their villages, ready to take everything. 

But now, two years after, I still think that many people haven’t really understood the impact of what’s happening. Ukraine is not only defending itself against Russia, it is actually defending us against Russia. For the last years, we in Parliament have been reminding the European Commission, but especially also the 27 governments of Europe that we will need to stand with Ukraine, for our own sake. Russia poses a real security threat to our Union, and it is time we take it seriously. 

In my opinion, there are four things we should do right now:
  • Commitment to Ukraine: But it’s not just words that are important, they need to be backed by concrete actions, and more specifically, with delivering the aid Ukraine needs from us.
  • We have to ensure sufficient funds: And even more so if the US is living up to their promises and cutting their contribution. The €50bn I negotiated in the Ukraine Facility that was just adopted are a good first step, but it will not be enough to trigger reconstruction.  We need to step it up, to allow them to be able to rebuild their country. 
  • We have to give Ukraine the means to win and end this war:  The war will not end with a diplomatic solution if the other side, Putin, has actually never been interested in living up to any peace agreements. We need to give Ukraine the power to defend itself fully. 
  • We need to really implement our sanctions: It can’t be that we still make money from Russian products, that then finance the Kremlin’s war efforts against Ukraine. We need full sanctions against Russia now. 

We have to make sure that we never forget about what’s currently going on in Ukraine, not only on this day but everyday. My commitment to Ukraine is long, and I intend to keep on working to make sure that Europe lives up to what this courageous and strong people expect from us,