Irish MEPs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly voted against a European Parliament resolution condemning Russia’s escalation of war against Ukraine.
However, MPs backed sections of the resolution that condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
The resolution condemned the recent referendums in the Russian-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine, which served as a pretext for Vladimir Putin to annex four Ukrainian regions.
MEPs called for tougher sanctions and increased military support for Ukraine, and urged member states and international partners to prepare a “swift and decisive response” should Russia carry out a nuclear strike against the Ukraine.
The motion, titled “Resolution on the escalation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine”, was adopted with 504 votes in favor, 26 against and 36 abstentions.
MPs voted on individual paragraphs of the resolution, as well as an overall vote on the resolution. The resolution contained 25 paragraphs in total.
Although they voted against the entire resolution, Mr. Wallace and Ms. Daly voted in favor of a number of paragraphs condemning Russia’s action.
This included a paragraph condemning the “illegal and illegitimate bogus referendums conducted at gunpoint to annex the oblasts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia”.
The paragraph stated that “the referendums were conducted in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law; [the Parliament] rejects and does not recognize the fabricated referendum results and subsequent incorporation of these territories into Russia; considers their results null and void; considers that the announced annexation constitutes a dangerous and irresponsible escalation and a flagrant violation of international law and of the Charter of the United Nations guaranteeing international peace, security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States, which cannot and will not be left unanswered by the international community”.
Left-wing MEPs Mr Wallace and Ms Daly voted against the fifth paragraph of the resolution.
He called on member states and other countries to “massively increase their military assistance, especially in areas where it is requested by the Ukrainian government, in order to allow Ukraine to regain full control of its entire internationally recognized territory and to successfully defend itself against any further Russian aggression”.
Instead, Mr Wallace, Ms Daly and Luke Ming Flanagan MEP backed an amendment tabled by the left-wing group which ‘regrets the absence of diplomatic initiatives from the EU’ and called for negotiations , dialogue and a “peaceful solution” to the conflict based on “respect for Ukrainian territorial integrity and international law”.
The amendment called for “a certain degree of autonomy” for certain Ukrainian regions, as well as a neutral status for Ukraine.
On the overall motion, all five Fine Gael MEPs, one Fianna Fáil MEP, two Green MEPs and Sinn Féin’s Chris MacManus voted in favour, Mr Wallace and Ms Daly voted against, Mr Flanagan abstaining .
Latest Ukrainian news
Ms Daly accused the European Union of being “inflexible” on continuing the Ukrainian war.
Speaking on RTÉ’s European Parliament report, Ms Daly, who opposes EU sanctions on Russia, said the West refused to “champion” peace talks.
“Their only answer is to continue the weapons, to continue the sanctions,” she said.
His comments, however, were strongly criticized by fellow Irish MEPs.
Speaking on the same programme, Seán Kelly of the European People’s Party and Fine Gael said Ms Daly’s comments were “completely inaccurate” and that such a view was shared by a “tiny minority” in parliament.
“The war continues because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, if Russia gets out of Ukraine, then the war is over,” he said.
He also said that if peace was to be sought, Ukraine must also be supported in its defence.
This week, the EU approved an eighth round of sanctions. Billy Kelleher, MEP for Fianna Fáil, said that in addition to these sanctions, support programs should also be rolled out for households and businesses as the cost of living rises.
Mr Kelleher said it was important that Europe “stay the course”, adding that “once there are cracks in the European Union, it could embolden Putin and the Russian troops”.
Grace O’Sullivan of the Green Group welcomed the idea of a price cap on windfall profits for energy companies, but said her group would also like it to become a permanent measure.
Meanwhile, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said efforts to help Europeans fight inflation would require “more Europe, not less”.
Ms Metsola said countries should work together to find solutions to crises, as has been the case during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said member states had shown unity since the Russian invasion of Ukraine because citizens “demanded it”.
“We are actually expressing our solidarity with Ukraine, this is something that cannot be tolerated, this is an illegal, brutal, unnecessary and unprovoked invasion,” she said.
Additional reporting Tommy Meskill