“While Ukraine is defending European values, we Europeans pay almost one billion dollars a day to finance Putin’s army – by buying Russian oil, gas and coal” – says Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, in the opening statement of a short film. In it, mayors from Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Czech Republic demand immediate actions from the European Commission and the European Council.
According to Eurostat, around 70% of European funds which support the administration of Vladimir Putin come from imports of oil. It is therefore oil, not gas or coal, which is responsible for the bulk of financial support which Europe gives Russia.
“The shock of ending our addiction to oil, gas and coal is a necessary sacrifice compared to the sacrifice of innocent Ukrainian women and men” – says Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague.
A joint call of 100 European mayors was first made on 15 March via the Joint Call from Mariupol. The call was later supported by the executive committee Global Parliament of Mayors and came shortly ahead of a European Parliament resolution, adopted on 7 April. The resolution called on member states to step up the delivery of weapons to allow Ukraine to defend itself. Today, the Joint Call from Mariupol has been signed by 300 mayors.
Among the co-authors of the Joint Call are mayors of 15 European capitals, including Roberto Gualtieri (Rome), Sadiq Khan (London), Kostas Bakoyannis (Athens), Philippe Close (Brussels), Anna König Jerlmyr (Stockholm), Carlos Moedas (Lisbon), Gergely Karácsony (Budapest), Raymond Johansen (Oslo), Tomislav Tomašević (Zagreb), Mihhail Kõlvart (Tallinn), Mārtiņš Staķis (Riga), and Erion Veliaj (Tirana), Rafał Trzaskowski (Warsaw), Zdeněk Hřib (Prague), Mārtiņš Staķis (Riga), Remigijus Šimašius, (Vilnius).
The Mayor of Gdansk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, launched the appeal for local-level politicians to express their solidarity with Ukraine, which has become known as the Join Call from Mariupol and calls on national and European counterparts to:
- Force the Russian government to open humanitarian corridors;
- Swiftly adopt decisions concerning the refugees’ reception and relocation in Europe
- Stop all trade relations with Russia and Belarus until the Russian army withdraws from Ukraine
Main image: by Alexandra Koch