At a meeting in Strasbourg this week, MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE) told former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that those who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) must be held accountable both legally as well as politically.
According to Paet, his meeting with Ukraine's former head of state took place on a tragic date, as Wednesday marked five years since the downing of MH17 above Eastern Ukraine.
"Altogether 298 people lost their lives, and the perpetrators must be held accountable for this crime," he said. "Accountability must be both legal and political, given that this is also a gross violation of international law. Thus, international trials must be conducted, and Russia cannot oppose or obstruct them."
The MEP also emphasized that the Ukrainian seamen captured by Russian in the Kerch Strait region must be released immediately.
"This order was also issued by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea at the end of May already, but Russia still has not followed this order," he added.
Topics discussed at the plenary sitting of the European Parliament on Thursday also included Russia and human rights. Namely, MEPs voted on an urgent resolution first and foremost concerning the situation of Russian environmental activists and Ukrainian political prisoners.
On the subject of the future of Ukraine, Paet said that Ukraine must continue with reforms, and in doing so, it can count on the support of the EU.
Poroshenko said that the EU's comprehensive support of Ukraine motivates the country to move forward with reforms.
"It is vital that sanctions on Russia remain in place until Russia fully complies with the Minsk agreements," the former president said. "The perspective of the EU is also a major motivator for Ukraine to carry out reforms."
Paet and Poroshenko also discussed the Ukrainian parliamentary elections to take place on Sunday, as well as the country's future developments.
Editor: Aili Vahtla