Mayors of Europe have issued a joint appeal to their governments to save human lives and to secure the receiving of Ukrainian refugees. One hundred European Mayors decided on the appeal in their online meeting on 14 March. In addition to Mayor of Turku Minna Arve, other Finnish cities taking part in the appeal are Espoo, Pori, Tampere and Vantaa.

Other European cities that have joined in the appeal include, among others, Barcelona, Bremen, London, Prague, Rome, Mannheim and Oslo

The initiative for the appeal was made by Mayor of Gdansk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz and Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella.

In their statement, the Mayors implore the European Commission to act in a way that will force the Russian government to open and secure real humanitarian corridors.

– The City of Turku absolutely condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its military actions. Together with the other European cities we demand that genuine and safe humanitarian corridors will be established and guaranteed in Ukraine immediately, states Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

The first to speak in the Mayors’ meeting was Vice-Mayor of Mariupol Serhii Orlov.

– Everyone has seen photos of our bombed maternity hospital. Hospitals, kindergartens and schools are targets of Russian bombing. Mariupol is now a city of martyrs - we are cut off from all utilities, water, energy, etc. Humanitarian actions are impossible, there is no way to evacuate people. Putin's goal is to take over Ukraine without Ukrainians, Mayor Orlov said.

Actions must be defined and executed on the EU level

In the joint resolution submitted during the meeting, European local governments representatives demand a stop to all trade relations with Russia and Belarus until the Russian army withdraws from Ukraine.

– We believe that the lives of women and men are more important than trade, jobs and even energy, stated in the resolution.

According to Mayors, there is a necessity of European solidarity to work out and swiftly adopt decisions concerning the refugees’ capable reception and relocation in Europe.

– We need a system based on the expertise of the UN and the EU, institutions experienced in dealing with these problems in a structured manner, said Rafał Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Warsaw, the city hosting the largest number of refugees from the Ukraine.