MEPs from the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament intend to visit Ukraine to gather evidence of the Russian Federation’s military build-up near Ukraine’s borders.
Committee chair German MEP David McAllister and Subcommittee chair Nathalie Loiseau sent a letter to newly elected European Parliament President Roberta Metsola asking to allow the mission, DW informs.
The mission is expected to consist of nine MEPs. It is scheduled for 30 January – 2 February. Permission for such a mission should be granted by the Presidium of the European Parliament.
“The urgency of the mission is due to Russia’s ongoing troop build-up in and around Ukraine, as well as the destabilising use of hybrid attacks on Ukrainian government institutions, including disinformation and cyber attacks,” the letter reads. In addition, it states that “this attack on Ukraine is also an attack on the European Union.”
Ahead of the Strasbourg hearings, both MEPs and EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell stressed that the EU should be united “in condemning Russia’s intimidation of Ukraine and in the face of Russia’s attempts to undermine European security and democracy.”
According to McAllister and Loiseau, the mission will demonstrate the solidarity of the European Union to the citizens of Ukraine “in these uncertain times.”
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Wopke Hoekstra also announced their plans to visit Ukraine. The Prime Minister made a corresponding statement during the debates in the parliament, calling the situation on the Russia-Ukraine border “very alarming.” It is currently unknown when the visit will take place.
As a reminder, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in Ukraine, saying that if the actions of the Russian authorities in their aggression against Ukraine go with impunity, this will untie the hands of other autocracies around the world.
Meanwhile, Russia’s embassy in the United States called on the United States to abandon plans to supply new weapons to Ukraine.
Russian diplomats say that Russia is not going to attack anyone, and “the practice of moving troops inside the country is a sovereign right.”