A mission of members of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and Security and Defence (SEDE) paid an official visit to Ukraine from 30 January to 1 February 2022 to express support and solidarity with Ukrainians, and to discuss current topics of European security in light of the Russian military threat to Ukraine.
Tonino Picula, Croatian MEP and foreign affairs coordinator of the Socialist and Democrat parliamentary group, who took part in the mission, stressed the importance of Ukraine's stability and security in order to preserve the country's reform progress.
"Ukraine is not a training ground for Russian military manoeuvres, cyber campaigns and manipulation of information. It is a country with more than forty million Europeans who deserve to live in peace, security and prosperity, like other Europeans. We strongly support Ukraine's efforts to build stable and responsible democratic institutions, achieve economic and social progress for its citizens, and preserve a stable and prosperous environment in all Ukrainian regions," he said.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia must stop threatening neighbouring Ukraine with military action and suspend its multidimensional efforts to undermine Ukraine's progress in democratic reforms, economic cooperation and social cohesion. Ukraine's political leadership, despite the challenges of stability and security, must maintain a determined course of reforms, the S&D agrees. Europe does not need a new security architecture, built on murky deals and shaky guarantees. Europe needs to renew its commitment to the principles and mechanisms of cooperation and security, as agreed in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, reaffirmed by the Paris Charter for a New Europe in 1990 and embodied by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The S&D Group has always been a strong supporter of the OSCE as a platform for European security dialogue. Now is the time to revive the Helsinki spirit and strengthen the OSCE, the S&D said.
"The EU, as a true partner of Ukraine, unwaveringly supports the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its determined reform path towards a strong rule of law, responsible and efficient democratic institutions, and an accessible and reliable public administration, including the security segment. In 2013 and 2014, Ukrainians fought for a democratic European future. Today, Ukraine must defend not only its citizens and territory, but also many reform progressions," Picula concluded.