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Watch: Banning Russian Gas Will Only Make Europeans Poorer, Irish MEP Warns As She Urges EU To Seek Peace

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Irish MEP Clare Daly has come out strongly against moves by the EU to ban Russian energy imports, warning that such a strategy will only make EU citizens poorer without even helping the people of Ukraine.

“It’s very obvious from the new round of sanctions that has been unleashed that what we have is hypocrisy by the EU,” Daly said in an interview with Lovin Malta.

“On the one hand, it is pretending to ratchet up the sanctions against Russia, but at the same time it is continuing to buy Russian gas because it has to.”

“The European and the Russian economies are intertwined and we cannot cut that link without absolutely pauperising ourselves. If we did that, as some who want an immediate cessation of Russian gas imports, are arguing, it would plummet the German economy into absolute catastrophe with hundreds of thousands of job losses.”

“And none of this will help a single Ukrainian, it’s utter madness.”

Dismissing suggestions that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to conquer Ukraine, invade other European countries and rebuild the Soviet Union, Daly urged the EU to seek peace, rather than try and push Russia further into a corner.

“If we really want the war to end, we need to sit down with the people we don’t like. Ireland used to be divided, and at a certain stage the members of the Republican community and the IRA had to sit down and shake hands with the British monarchy… the Americans sat down with the Taliban.

“That’s what diplomacy is, it’s about sitting down with the people you don’t agree with. Differences can only be sorted out by dialogue and diplomacy but the EU seems to be suggesting they can be resolved by force.”

“If that’s their mantra, against one of the biggest armies in the world, with a nuclear arsenal behind it, caging that type of superpower is extremely dangerous because it leaves them with only the route to escalate.”

Daly hit back at a recent statement by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola that the EU is at war with Russia.

“I think the EU has behaved shamelessly and has allowed itself to become a vassal of the US and NATO, which for me, coming from a neutral country like Ireland, is totally reprehensible.”

“We are not at war. I would imagine that most people in Europe would desperately like to see an end to the war and their hearts are breaking at the situation the Ukrainians are in. The fault for the invasion absolutely lies with Russia for stepping over the mark but even the Pope has acknowledged that NATO played a role too, and sending in arms will only prolong the conflict.”

“More war crimes, more deaths, more destruction, that’s not what people want. The EU had a chance to be an honest broker and I believe that in the early days, just before the invasion, Germany and France in particular were trying to take that role, up against the baying of the Eastern European member states who were totally anti-Russia in they rhetoric.”

“I understand that some of these countries have previously been occupied by Russia but we were occupied too and the solution was not to wage war and block ourselves off completely from the UK…. you’ve got to talk and deal with the neighbours that you don’t like.”

“Unfortunately the EU has allowed itself to be corralled into a ‘defend Ukraine, hate Russia’ situation. We should be brokering peace but we’re not doing that and we’re actively prolonging the war. 

“I’m not surprised on one level because the military-industrial complex, which has basically captured the EU, is absolutely delighted. Military expenditure has gone through the roof in Europe, LNG and environmental targets have gone out the window – and who’s suffering? “First and foremost, the people of Ukraine, but also EU citizens, all while the Americans are sitting back, going ‘Ah well, you keep at it, lads’.”

“It’s absolutely crazy, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot and the ordinary people of Europe will pay with their living standards, and their lives in Ukraine and Russia. It’s a real disaster and I’m shocked by the idea of the EU, which was created for peace, is distorting and converting itself into basically a puppet of NATO and the US.”

Cover photo: Left: Irish MEP Clare Daly, Right: European Parliament President Roberta Metsola 

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

How do you think the EU should respond to the Ukraine war? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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