SWC Leads Call for Europe to Take Stronger Actions Against Russia

March 22, 2022

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is leading a call to international and European government agencies to step up actions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine.

A comprehensive petition sent to the United Nations, European Union and the Council of Europe calls for a series of bold actions including greater sanctions personally targeting Putin and his political and economic supporters, greater efforts to protect refugees and children, and ensuring the safety of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The petition, signed by a number of European civil society organizations, also calls on European citizens to boycott companies who continue to do business in Russia, to reduce their energy consumption to lower reliance on Russian gas, and to contact Russians living in Europe and urge them to inform their families in Russia about the truth of wanton murder and destruction of Putin’s invasion.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC’s Director of International Relations based in Europe, said the Wiesenthal Center led the effort to draft the 18-point petition, and is one of only two Jewish organizations who are signatories. He noted that SWC is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
Samuels said that while the petition encourages and supports current diplomatic efforts  to stop “this aggression against a sovereign state and its people…we are also aware that the negotiations can only lead to an end to the fighting and to peace if the democratic states and their peoples give themselves the means to change the balance of power with Russia led by Vladimir Putin.”

The signatories, all representatives of European organized civil society, are aware that the future of Ukraine and that of Europe are linked, and that we must stand firm and remain united to confront this unacceptable aggression against a free people, to stop the fighting and restore peace, he said.

“This petition should be read and considered for replication around the world,” said Eric J. Greenberg, SWC’s Director of United Nations Relations and Strategic Partnerships. “It is particularly important to note that among the 20 points in the document, five are focused on providing more humanitarian aid for civilians, including innocent women and children, the sick, and other vulnerable people.”   

Greenberg also noted the petition calls for initiating legal proceedings to seize Russian assets targeted by the sanctions placed by the European Union, Switzerland and the United States.   

To read the full petition, click here.

For further information contact the Center’s Communications department at pressinquiries@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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