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No return to normalcy unless Ukraine defends its freedom: PM

“There will be no return to normalcy unless Ukraine defends its freedom,” Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday during a joint conference in Warsaw’s suburban town of Otwock with European Parliament head Roberta Metsola who visited Poland following her meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

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Meeting at a refugee assistance centre in Otwock, the PM and the European Parliament head were unanimous on the need to impose tougher sanctions on Russia.

PM Morawiecki said that the sanctions hitherto imposed on Russia had not worked out as the rate of the Russian ruble returned to its pre-invasion value.

“Some leaders, with their hands forced by European business, are already talking about returning to normalcy,” the PM said, adding: “There will be no return to normalcy unless Ukraine defends its freedom unless Ukraine defends its sovereignty because it is then that Europe will show its weakness, Europe will be humiliated, Europe will end up toothless, unable to act in the frame of its universal values such as freedom and the right to life.”

“We need more real sanctions, we need more real money … new European funds that could be used to help people here, create perspectives for a normal life,” he stressed.

PM Morawiecki criticised some European leaders who have been trying to reconcile speaking up against Russia while trying to continue doing business with Moscow. He said that the notion that a return to the era when Putin could be reasoned with was well bygone. “He is a cruel man… I have been receiving reports, photos, and videos of children and women being murdered there in Ukraine,” he said, making an appeal for remaining united in the struggle against Russia by seizing Russian assets as they were a fresh source of funds.

Freezing assets alone will not fly. Confiscating those assets is necessary, to factually gain the ability to help Ukraine,” he stressed.

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European Parliament to work on further sanctions against Russia

The head of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola highlighted Poland’s herculean humanitarian effort at the time of the unprecedented crisis entailed by the war in Ukraine.

Recounting her visit to Kyiv, she noted that the entire Ukrainian government stressed the absolute necessity of help. “We have already provided great logistic, humanitarian, military and financial support, albeit this will not suffice. My message to the Ukrainian parliament and President Zelensky was such that I would report all of this to our partners here in Poland and in other countries,” she said.

Ms Metsola said that imposing tougher sanctions on Russia was necessary and that “we must improve the execution of those sanctions which are already in place.”

“The European Parliament will meet next week at a plenary session in Strasbourg where we will work on a resolution” on further sanctions against Russia, she said, adding that the work with that regard had already started.

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