Latvian MEP refuses to condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

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One of Latvia's eight Members of the European Parliament was among a handful of MEPs who declined to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine on March 1.

Tatjana Ždanoka of the Latvian Russian Union party which is part of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, was one of 13 MEPs who voted against a resolution decrying the invasion and offering support to beseiged Ukrainians.

Ždanoka is well known for her pro-Moscow stance on all matters. As previously reported by LSM, she has shown support for the Russian seizure of Crimea and its intervention to support the dictatorship in Syria.

During an extraordinary session in Brussels on March 1 to discuss the EU’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Parliament President Roberta Metsola said: “The Russian invasion into Ukraine is part of President Putin’s destabilisation agenda. It is a path that will bring the Kremlin in direct confrontation with Europe and the rule-based world-order. It is a path that pits authoritarianism against democracy. It is a path that we cannot allow him to walk unchallenged.”

Ždanoka votes against condemnation of Russian invasion
Ždanoka votes against condemnation of Russian invasion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Parliament live from Kyiv. He spoke about the losses sustained by Ukrainians defending their country and and also thanked the EU for its support:

“We are fighting for our rights, our freedoms, our lives, and currently - for our survival. We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe. So now, prove that you are with us.”

In a resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority on the same day, members strongly condemned Russia’s illegal invasion and called for stronger sanctions against Russia. However, Ždanoka was one of those not supporting the resolution. She voted against. The text was approved by 637 votes in favour, 13 against with 26 abstentions.

MEPs also called on EU countries to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons more quickly, targeted sanctions against people responsible for high-level corruption in Russia and Belarus as well as the end of “golden visas” for rich Russians. MEPs also urged EU countries to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status.

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