Seven countries' Foreign Affairs Committee chairs want stronger sanctions
The chairs of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland issued a joint statement on Thursday calling for stronger sanctions against Russia and increasing support for Ukraine, as well as for suspending tourism and restricting the issuing of entry visas to Russian citizens.
In their statement, issued in response to Russia's continued unprovoked and unjust war of aggression against Ukraine, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of their respective parliaments outlined the nature of the war, calling it a "gross violation of international law, including the UN Charter," and noting that since February 24, 12 million people in Ukraine have been forced to flee their homes and more than 5 million flee their country, according to a press release.
The committee chairs also highlighted the atrocities being committed and immoral tactics being used by Russia, including the reported torture, rape, murder and mass detention of civilians, mass deportations, the use of cluster munitions as well as the deployment of Russian military personnel and weaponry at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest, thus preventing the operator and Ukrainian authorities from fulfilling their nuclear and radiation safety obligations.
The Foreign Affairs Committee chairs reiterated their strongest condemnation of Russia's war against Ukraine. "The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine's internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine's territory and sovereignty," the statement reads.
In their joint statement, the committee chairs also called on the Euro-Atlantic community and partners to strengthen and implement comprehensive sanctions against Russia, to increase military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic support to Ukraine, "as well as adopt equivalent decisions and establish equivalent sanctions against Belarus as a supporter of Russia's military aggression."
They also called on EU member states and other Western allies to "immediately suspend tourism and limit the issuance of entry visas for tourism of citizens of the Russian Federation."
Delegations from the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Riigikogu, Latvia's Saeima, Lithuania's Seimas and Finland's Eduskunta were in Ukraine as well on Thursday, both to show their support for Ukraine as well as gain a better understanding of the current war situation there.
Click here to read the full joint statement in English and here for the full joint statement in Ukrainian.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla