Opening Statement in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in Chisinau, 20 February, 2023
Member of the European Parliament,
Co-President of Euronest PA
Congratulations to all the members of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and thanks to our hosts from Moldova. This is unique session, since it’s the first session of Euronest, held during the war.
The war brings tectonic changes and geopolitical earthquakes in the whole EaP region and the whole European continent.
The first question, which we need to answer – why Putin started the war?
Somebody is calling that this is a traditional neoimperial or colonial war.
I would stress, that this is the war of collapsing autocracy against inevitable spread of democracy to the eastern part of European continent. I would like to call it “Kremlin regime survival war”.
Kremlin waged the war not to allow democracy to spread into Russia. For Kremlin regime to survive in Russia the biggest threat is success of democratic Ukraine and other EaP countries, because that can inspire Russian people to demand the same development in Russia.
Ukraine success (and of other EaP countries) can be built in the same way as success of Central Europe was created in 1990-ies through integration towards EU. This is the only way how the success of countries in post Soviet area can be created. For Putin regime Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia integration towards EU is the biggest danger for survival of his regime. That is the reason why he started the war against Ukraine success.
Russia will lose this war. With the Western assistance, they will be defeated in Ukraine. It’s needed not only for Ukraine, it’s needed for the whole democratic world, and especially for democratic Europe. And such a defeat will bring collapse of autocracy in Russia, and it will open the doors for transformation back to democracy in Russia.
It’s a crucially important historical moment, which will change the whole geopolitical landscape of European continent. We, my generation, we have seen how Berlin Wall collapsed, now we are coming to the moment of the same historical significance when Kremlin wall of authoritarian, aggressive regime will collapse.
And that historical change depends exceptionally on Ukraine.
Because transformation of Russia will happen, first of all, if Russian people will get rid of the dream to restore Empire. In order to achieve that, there are three most important things which we all together need to realize: 1) Russia military defeat in Ukraine; 2) international tribunal for Putin; and 3) NATO membership for Ukraine: Russians need to understand that Ukraine is gone from their sphere of influence.
From another side, for such transformation to happen Russian people need to believe that they can have normal life in Russia itself. And for that to happen, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia integration towards EU will play most important strategic role, because that is how Ukraine and other EaP countries success will be created and how example and inspiration for Russian people will created.
Transformation of Russia is the only way for sustainable peace to be created on European continent. That is why European integration is the only way towards sustainable peace, and that is why integration of EaP countries towards EU is needed not only for the countries of EaP themselves, but strategically is very much needed also for EU itself. That is also what on EU side we still need to understand properly. And that is why Eastern Partnership policy is one of the most important geopolitical policies of EU, and why Euronest PA is such an important event.
Also it is so crucially important that we have this Assembly here in Chisniau. Not just because we have session in the neighborhood of Ukraine, but mostly because Moldova brings a clear and very important evidence that if the people in EaP region has a possibility to make a free choice, they are choosing European direction. Despite all the Kremlin efforts to resist such a choice with all Kremlin hybrid influence weapons. I would like to congratulate President Maja Sandu and all the leadership of Moldova for a great job bringing Moldova on European road.
Moldova brings clear evidence what would be the choice of Belarus people if they would have possibility to make a free choice, which Lukashenko have stolen from them. The same with Russian people and that is why Kremlin dreams how to destroy such a choice of Moldova people. But they will not succeed.
Autocracy in Russia will loose: both military in Ukraine and geopolitically against European integration of EaP countries.
For that to happen there is a need of consolidated political will on EU side and the whole Western world side. We need to deliver weapons to Ukraine and we need to deliver integration, with an ambitious integration agenda for Trio countries and with accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova to be started during this year.
With “military Ramstein” we, the West, have shown the way how to consolidate our political will in order to deliver weapons. In order to deliver integration, we need to create “Integration Ramstein” .
We need to deliver integration in such a way, that EaP countries, first of all Moldova and Ukraine, and I hope Georgia, would become members of EU before 2029 and would participate in regular elections towards European Parliament.
This is the way to sustainable peace on all the European continent. Collapse of Kremlin walls will remove the most important destabilizing factor, factor of aggression and oppression for all the EaP region, not only for Ukraine and Moldova, but also for Belarus, and for the whole South Caucasus.
But all the changes in EaP region, all the geopolitical changes on European continent starts with Ukraine victory.
That is why Long live Moldova and Slava Ukrainy!