Brussels needs to urge Kiev to make peace, according to a Voice of Europe roundtable
Ukrainian lives are being sacrificed by the “totally corrupt” elite in Kiev to which the EU recklessly sends billions of euros, several members of the European Parliament said at an event on Wednesday hosted by the think-tank Voice of Europe.
“We must stop this tragicomedy for Europe, for Ukraine and for Russia. We must try to find a path to prosperity again, and the first step is peace,” MEP Thierry Mariani of the French National Rally (RN) party argued at the roundtable, held in the central hall of the European Parliament in Brussels.
“Ukraine must remain a bridge” between Russia and Europe, Mariani added. He also pointed out that the current conflict has roots in 2013, when the EU tried to push Kiev to renounce a free trade deal with Russia and sign the Association Agreement with Brussels. This led to the Maidan demonstrations and the February 2014 coup.
Maximilian Kra of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) said he had traveled around Ukraine, describing it as “a beautiful country with very decent people.”
“I’m afraid that these decent people of Ukraine are now being sacrificed for the interests of the Kiev elite,” who own millions in real estate in southern France, Kra said. He also voiced fears that the US may ask the EU to foot the bill for the Ukraine conflict, now that Washington’s attention has been preoccupied by Israel.
“That’s what I’m afraid of. And I can tell you that this is already happening. Because Germany has already promised $1 billion to Ukraine, while the US will allocate only $200 million,” he said.
Marcel de Graaff of the Dutch Forum for Democracy (FvD) argued that Ukraine needs to make peace with Russia as soon as possible.
“I speak very directly because they have already lost. They are now sacrificing people up to 70 years old at the front. They no longer have reserves. They are losing right now,” said de Graaf.
He also described Ukraine as “the most corrupt country in the world,” now being given “tens of billions of euros” by the West. “I heard that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s mother-in-law bought a villa in Egypt for several million dollars, and we are still wondering where our money is going. This is a totally corrupt civilization,” de Graaf added.
One major problem, according to the Dutch MEP, is that all trust has been lost between Russia and the West after the revelations by former German and French leaders that the Minsk Agreements were a ploy to buy Kiev time to prepare for war.
Kra brought up that Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk had presented the German Bundestag a “smart” peace plan based on Minsk II, a proposal that would have seen the rebel republics of Donetsk and Lugansk rejoin Ukraine with broad autonomy.
“At the time, no one knew that Minsk II was a fake, as Merkel later stated,” Kra added, referring to former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s December 2022 admission.
Henri Malos, president of Voice of Europe and host of the roundtable, also lamented the demise of the Minsk Agreements, which he said offered security and sovereignty for both Russia and Ukraine.