Bishop Borys Gudziak, head of the department of foreign affairs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has urged the European Union to step up sanctions against Russia to show it is “serious about it stands for”.
Bishop Gudziak said that, while Ukrainians were dying for European values such as justice and the rule of law, Europe itself had yet to show it was resolved to defend these values.
The bishop, speaking after a week of meetings in Brussels, including with Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, suggested that the sanctions be widened to 200 or 300 Russian officials instead of just 20 or so.
He said Russia’s oligarchs had close ties to Britain and western Europe which they would be dismayed to see broken.
Many of President Vladimir Putin’s supporters, he said, “send their kids to boarding schools in Britain, they invest their billions in the City in London. They don’t go to the Crimean beaches, they go to the Côte d’Azur. If a few hundred of these people were blocked from their western bank accounts, their very modest London flats and had travel bans I think they would have a sense that Europe is serious about what it stands for.”
He added: “In Ukraine people are dying for European values. [But] the resolution of Europe is yet to be fully demonstrated.”