In reaction to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution during an extraordinary session on 1 March, in which the MEPs have strongly condemned Russia’s illegal invasion and are calling for stronger sanctions against Russia.
They also pleaded for more support to Ukraine in defensive weapons, to see broader restrictive measures aimed at strategically weakening the Russian economy and industrial base, targeted sanctions against individuals, reviewing all beneficiaries of “golden visas” for wealthy Russians linked to sanctioned individuals and companies, and to endeavor new efforts to grant Ukraine EU candidate status. President Zelenskiy addressed the European Parliament via video link from Kyiv and reported the losses sustained by Ukrainians defending their country and thanked the EU for its support.
For the role of sports organisations, the MEPs called on international sporting organisations to consider suspending Russian participation in their events and commended UEFA’s decision to strip Russia of the Champions League Final, as well as the decisions of numerous national teams not to play Russia in World Cup play-offs and other games. They also made a call for other sport federations to suspend Russia’s participation in their events, and welcomed FIFA’s decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the World Cup;
The text was approved with an overwhelming majority on the same day by 637 votes in favour, 13 against with 26 abstentions. Voting results can be viewed here.
In an unprecedented record time, the European Union has also agreed to give immediate protections and rights to Ukrainians fleeing the war, activating for the first time the Temporary Protection Directive. As requested by the Council and proposed by the Commission on 2 March 2022, this measure will allow Ukrainians to be given temporary residency status to stay inside an EU Member State for at least one year, a period that will be automatically extended for a further year, without having to go through complex asylum procedures.
On 3 March, the 27 Member States of the EU agreed to activate the Directive. This Decision shall enter into force on the same day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.