The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling on the European Union institutions "to work towards granting" Ukraine the status of EU candidate country, it said in a statement.
The resolution, which also demanded the EU to impose "tougher sanctions" on Russia, was voted in favor by 637 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It condemned "in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and demands that the Kremlin end all military activities in the country."
The members also stressed that the EU's financial sanctions against Russia should go further, stating that "all Russian banks should be blocked from the European financial system and Russia should be banned from the SWIFT system."
"While welcoming the swift adoption of EU sanctions, MEPs want to see broader restrictive measures aimed at strategically weakening the Russian economy and industrial base. In particular, imports of the most important Russian export goods, such as oil and gas should be restricted, they say. New EU investment in Russia and new Russian investment in the EU should be banned," the press release said.
The lawmakers pushed for the extension of a range of sanctions including the SWIFT ban on Belarus in return for its "direct support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine."
They also called on EU countries to send Ukraine "defensive weapons more swiftly, in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter, which allows for individual and collective self-defense."
Finally, all sanctions aimed at individuals responsible for "high-level corruption" in Russia and Belarus including oligarchs and officials should be adopted "swiftly," it said.
EU countries operating residence by investment schemes or golden visas as they are commonly known should "review all beneficiaries of such residence status and revoke those attributed to Russian high-net-worth individuals and their families, in particular those linked to sanctioned individuals and companies."