We need a coordinated EU mechanism for Russian dissidents and defectors

In my letter to the Commission, I join 34 other MEPs from four political groups in calling for the EU to establish a coordinated mechanism for Russian dissidents and defectors. The original letter with all signatures can be found at here.

Dear Commission President von der Leyen

Dear Vice President Schinas,

Dear Commissioner Johansson,

Following the recent announcement of military mobilization in Russia, we, as Members of the European Parliament, address the European Commission with a request to urgently develop coordinated solutions at the EU level to be proposed to Member States to ensure effective access to asylum for dissidents and persons fleeing compulsory conscription into the Russian military. Fleeing compulsory military conscription is a widely accepted reason for asylum worldwide, including in European Union Member States. Maintaining this practice is particularly appropriate in a situation of such close geographic proximity to belligerents. Since the beginning of Putin's war of aggression, numerous atrocities and war crimes committed by the Russian army have been reported, and news of misinformed and disillusioned Russian soldiers is also widespread.
The European Union was founded on the values of democracy and fundamental rights and with the aim of securing peace in Europe. It must therefore be in the interest of all Member States to uphold the human rights of Russian defectors to seek asylum in the EU rather than be forced to fight and kill our Ukrainian allies. Therefore, we turn to the European Commission to quickly propose a mechanism to allow deserters to flee to the EU. Only good coordination and quick action at the EU level can bring safety to many people who refuse to participate in Russia's murderous war in Ukraine, knowing the complicated security situation and the geopolitical sensitivity of this issue. The rapid activation of the Temporary Protection Directive for Ukrainians:inside has shown that unity and coordination produce results. Following this great example, we hope for proposals in the same spirit and promise the active cooperation of the European Parliament. With this letter, we would also like to join the calls made by the President of the Council Charles Michel and the Czech Prime Minister Fiala in early March to grant asylum to Russian soldiers who are not willing to continue fighting in this war.

Yours sincerely,

MEP Erik Marquardt (Greens/EFA)
MEP Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA)
MEP Malin Björk (GUE/NGL)
MEP Micha Bloss (Greens/EFA)
MEP Saskia Bricmont (Greens/EFA)
MEP Delara Burkhardt (S&D)
MEP Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA)
MEP Clare Daly (GUE/NGL)
MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA)
MEP Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg (Greens/EFA)
MEP Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)
MEP Daniel Freund (Greens/EFA)
MEP Malte Gallée (Greens/EFA)
MEP Alexandra Geese (Greens/EFA)
MEP Claude Gruffat (Greens/EFA)
MEP Bernard Guetta (Renew)
MEP Henrike Hahn (Greens/EFA)
MEP Morten Helveg Petersen (Renew)
MEP Dietmar Köster (S&D)
MEP Philippe Lamberts (Greens/EFA)
MEP Pierre Larrouturou (S&D)
MEP Karen Melchior (Renew)
MEP Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA)
MEP Hannah Neumann (Greens/EFA)
MEP Niklas Nienaß (Greens/EFA)
MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen (Renew)
MEP Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL)
MEP Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA)
MEP Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA)
MEP Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL)
MEP Jordi Solé (Greens/EFA)
MEP Tineke Strik (Greens/EFA)
MEP Yana Toom (Renew)
MEP Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL)
MEP Nils Ušakovs (S&D)
MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Greens/EFA)