The EU response to the Russian Federation’s aggression of Ukraine

Resolution submitted by Political Commission 3: External Affairs and Global Governance.
Adopted by the Federal Committee in London on 23 March 2019. Re-adopted and amended by the Federal Committee in Prague on 13 November 2022.

JEF Europe,

  • Recalling the JEF Europe resolutions “For a common European response to the crisis and transformation process in Ukraine”, “Future of the Eastern Partnership: a new European strategy for the East”, “Establishing a European Security and Defence Union” and “Combatting disinformation in the modern media landscape”;
  • Strongly condemning the illegal violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the illegal annexation of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia as well as the repeated breaches of international law by the Russian Federation, with the 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine as the culmination of Russia’s imperialist agenda;
  • Recalling the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine’s findings that clearly document “patterns of summary executions, unlawful confinement, torture, ill-treatment, rape and other sexual violence committed in areas occupied by Russian armed forces across the four regions on which it focused” and that these amount to war crimes, violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law;
  • Welcomes the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declaring Russia as a “terrorist” regime;
  • Deeply concerned about the social and human consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and disputes in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, and rejecting all forms of conflict and violence perpetrated as an expression of foreign policy;
  • Denouncing the Russian measures aimed at destabilising the Eastern Partnership countries through trade embargoes or the conclusion of integration treaties in separatist or breakaway regions, such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transnistria and Crimea, under the false pretext of there being oppressed ethnic and linguistic groups and the misguided notion of the Russian Federation being their supposed protector, while at the same time reminding the indispensability of protecting minorities;
  • Strongly rejecting all actions by the Russian Federation in support of the authoritarian rule in Belarus and its support for the Belarusian crackdown on its own people, the oppression of calls for democracy, and prosecution and persecution of journalists, opposition leaders and activists;
  • Notes with concern the military actions surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plants endangering not only the Ukrainian people but all citizens of the world;
  • Notes with utmost concern the unreasonable provocations by the Russian Federation regarding the possible use of weapons, including nuclear rockets in the aggression against Ukraine and surrounding countries;
  • Deplores the blockade of Ukrainian ports, leading to a crisis of primary food supplies throughout the world including the aggravation of famines and food insecurity;
  • Welcoming the agreement facilitated by Turkey and the United Nations to ensure that exports of food products from Ukraine can continue unhindered despite Russia’s war of aggression, in order to protect people around the world from a crisis of primary food supplies, food insecurity and famine;
  • Recalling that the EU member states that have had a long history of oppression at the hands of Russia have warned western Member States again and again over the course of the last decade about the riks of entering into a state of energy dependency towards Russia and that Russia was and remains a security threat , and that these calls were recklessly ignored;
  • Condemns the arrests of protestors, the closure of political offices, raids on the homes of civil society activists, and the labelling of NGOs and their staff and members as foreign agents;
  • Worried about the security of key European infrastructures which could be targeted by the Russian Federation and have serious economic consequences;
  • Denouncing the cyber and hybrid warfare against government ministries, political parties, NGOs, electoral processes, newspapers, banks, companies, and critical infrastructure in and beyond Europe, at times resulting in material damage and destabilisation;
  • Concerned by nearly total restrictions on media and internet freedom, the tightening of online media control, increased disinformation campaigns and information wars, used to advance the Russian political agenda, propaganda and indoctrination practices, up to the point of strengthening the wish for a Russian victory among considerable parts of the electorate in some EU Member States;
  • Deploring the suppression of fundamental rights in the Russian Federation and furthermore condemning the persecution of activists and opposition parties and their members;
  • Regrets that the EU prefers dealing with other dictatorships to secure new fossil fuel sources instead of focusing on energy efficiency, sobriety and a long-overdue shift to renewables;
  • Welcomes the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Europe which, in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute, ratifies the Russian Federation ceasing to be a member of the Council of Europe;
  • Regretting that the unanimity in sanctions leads to the EU granting multiple exceptions to some countries, in particular to Hungary, which might in the end undermine the sanction regime altogether;
  • Condemning the use of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as a tool serving largely Russian interests and dominance over neighbouring countries;

JEF Europe, therefore,

  1. Strongly demands the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and all Russian-supported paramilitary groups from Ukrainian territory as internationally recognised and that the Russian Federation be responsible for the costs of reconstructing infrastructure targeted by the illegal aggression;
  2. Calls on the EU to maintain the harshest diplomatic pressure and sanctions against the Russian Federation until a withdrawal from all Ukrainian territories, a verifiable and internationally monitored peace agreement is implemented, and those responsible for the invasion of Ukraine are held accountable;
  3. Calls on the EU to formulate a common strategy to ensure Member States’ cohesion regarding Russia and promote its interest in the Eastern Neighbourhood in line with European principles and values;
  4. Calls on the Member States to regard the preservation of unity as an absolute priority and to abstain from bilateral relations and agreements which could undermine the common line, even before establishing a common foreign policy;
  5. Calls upon all nations and international organisations to re-evaluate their ties with Russia and take all steps to ensure they are not complicit in prolonging Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine;
  6. Reiterates its call for a European Defence Union as the only way forward to ensure Europe’s safety against Russian expansionism and aggression;
  7. Firmly supports the swift creation of a European Energy Union, specifically the increased interconnection of national energy networks in order to reduce considerably the dependence of individual Member States on Russia, a country that has repeatedly shown its willingness to abuse its energy reserves as political weapons;
  8. Calls for the strengthening of analytical and monitoring capabilities of Russian disinformation campaigns, such as the already existing East StratCom Task Force, and calls on the Commission to set aside adequate funding for concrete projects aimed at countering Russian disinformation within the EU and in the Eastern Partnership countries by promoting and strengthening media pluralism, media literacy and availability of factual information;
  9. Calls on the EU to provide support to projects aimed at promoting and developing high journalistic standards, freedom of the media, and unbiased and trustworthy information, including in Russian language in Eastern Partnership countries and exiled free Russian media in order to provide Russian-speaking audiences with credible and independent sources of information;
  10. Demands that the EU and its Member States support independent Russian civil society activists, human rights defenders, bloggers, independent media, outspoken academics and public figures and NGOs, with the aim to defend the Russian civic space and promote democratic values, fundamental freedoms and human rights in Russia and the territories illegally occupied by Russia;
  11. Asks European countries to ban the extradition of Russian citizens to Russia, considering the lack of fundamental values ensuring fair trials;
  12. Urges the immediate release of political prisoners and open and independent investigations into assassination attempts, including Vladimir Kara-Murza and Alexei Navalny;
  13. Calls upon the Russian Federation to fully comply with its international obligations as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations, by which it has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, the safeguard of the sovereignty of other nations and the protection of the territorial integrity of states, such as Ukraine;
  14. Condemns the forced mobilisation carried out by Russia and the ludicrously disproportionate punishments faced by persons trying to escape forced mobilisation;
  15. Strongly condemns the militarisation of education that has occurred and continues occurring all over Russia;
  16. Requests Member States to further support investigations into war crimes of Russia in Ukraine and to assist in setting up an international tribunal to judge the crime of aggression of Russia;
  17. Commits itself to continue to connect with democratic youth movements in Russia, and to welcome and encourage the efforts of pro-European Russian youth in establishing and expanding JEF Russia.