Kneissl and Schröder must get off Russian payroll

Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schröder, Karin Kneissl

“By serving in top positions of Kremlin-affiliated corporations, the former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder are de facto closely cooperating with Russia. Such behaviour is unacceptable at a time when Russia is breaking international law and committing war crimes. We ask them to step down from their positions in Russian companies”, said Markus Ferber MEP, as the European Parliament is about to vote today on a Resolution on the social and economic consequences of the war in Ukraine on the European economy.

On top of asking Kneissl and Schröder to resign from their positions, the EPP Group has succeeded in integrating a concrete economic relief package into the Resolution to help small businesses and ordinary citizens cope with the economic brunt of the war in Ukraine.

“Supply chains are interrupted, inflation is climbing from record to record, and energy prices are exploding, the impacts of the war in Ukraine and the European sanctions imposed on Russia are becoming more and more apparent. It is high time for Member States and the European Union to counteract. EU business does not need promises but tangible actions to subsist. Among these, we believe it is urgent to reduce the cost of doing business by lowering VAT and energy taxes. Prices are going up, and the share of energy in the monthly business budget is becoming unmanageable”, explained Ferber, who negotiated the Resolution on behalf of the EPP Group.

“When circumstances change, our budget has to change, it’s as simple as that. We then demand a revision of the multiannual European budget to accommodate the increased financing needs”, he added. This review needs to be done following an in-depth analysis of the long-term implications of the war on existing European policies, such as the agricultural one for example, as well as the shift to new political priorities and emerging needs.”

“We finally need to cut red tape and be more flexible with state aid to support European small companies in this time of crisis. To be efficient, a clear sector-by-sector analysis would need to be conducted”, concluded Ferber.

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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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