Gianni Pittella: “Europe wake up! We have to stop war going on beyond our Eastern borders”

Following the tragedy in Ukraine yesterday evening, in which Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines crashed and 298 people died, Gianni Pittella, S&D Group president, said:

“On behalf of the entire S&D Group, I want to express my deepest sympathy for all innocent casualties of this latest horrendous tragedy. There were 298 people on this flight, amongst them Europeans and citizens from all over the world; children and families. Our sorrow has to turn into action for peace.

“We have to immediately clarify what lead to this tragic plane crash, as justice has to be guaranteed for all victims.

“The first and most important task for Europe is to ensure that firing stops and that diplomacy and politics take over.

“We can no longer close our eyes pretending nothing is going on. There is a war beyond our Eastern borders. As members of the EU we have to live up to our responsibilities. Europe is, and has to remain, a space for peace and dialogue.”

Gianni Pittella concluded by calling for a peaceful roundtable to be put into place immediately:

“Europe wake up! We have to all stand together against war and take Russia and Ukraine to a peaceful roundtable. This is our natural mission as the European Union. This is our role as a political family.

“The consequences of any further silence from us would be more killings, desperation and innocent victims. Europe is not just a common union of goods and interests. The European Union is first of all a political community and as such we have to act now.”