On 24 February 2022, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine, in a major escalation of the conflict that had begun in 2014. Shortly before, on 21 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent.
On 1 March the European Parliament held an extraordinary plenary session in Brussels to assess Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Ruslan Stefanchuk spoke live from Kiev. The European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was in Kyiv on 1 April to express the European Union´s support of the Ukrainian people and to condemn the Russian attack. She travelled on the invitation of Ruslan Stefanchuk. On 8 June Stefanchuk adressed Parliament in the Strasbourg hemicycle.
Since the beginning of the invasion, the EU has adopted several packages of restrictive measures to Russia’s military attack against Ukraine. Sanctions include targeted restrictive measures (individual sanctions), economic sanctions and diplomatic measures.
Following the atrocities carried out by Vladimir Putin’s regime against Ukrainian civilians, the European Parliament has recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. A resolution adopted on November 2022 during the plenary session, highlights that the deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes. In light of this, they recognise Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state that “uses means of terrorism”.