In the context of the EU’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, High Representative Josep Borrell instructed the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino to summon the Ambassador of the Russian Federation the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, in Brussels today.
In their meeting, Secretary General Sannino conveyed the EU’s strongest condemnation of the unprovoked, unjustified invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation and the demand to Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease military operations immediately, and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.
This had been stated in the Declaration of HRVP Borrell on behalf of the European Union and in the joint declaration of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.
Secretary General Sannino informed Ambassador Chizov that the EU’s firm response to the Russian aggression will be decided at today’s extraordinary meeting of the European Council, and will include a new, hard-hitting package of restrictive measures, both sectorial and individual, fully coordinated with the EU’s transatlantic and like-minded partners.
Statement delivered by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union at the extraordinary OSCE Permanent Council
Mr. Chair, on behalf of the EU, I would like to thank you for swiftly convening this extraordinary Permanent Council. These are among the darkest hours for Europe since World War Il.
The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation.
We demand President Putin to cease Russian military operations immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine. Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. It will be held accountable for its actions.
We also condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and call on it to abide by its international obligations.
Russia’s military attack against Ukraine – an independent and sovereign State – is a flagrant violation of international law and the core principles on which the international rules-based order is built.
The EU together with transatlantic and like-minded partners have been united in their untiring efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the security crisis caused by Russia. Russia has not reciprocated these efforts and instead opted unilaterally for a grave and premeditated escalation.
The EU has made clear from the outset and at the highest political level that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs.
The EU’s response will therefore include both sectoral and individual restrictive measures coordinated fully with our transatlantic and like- minded partners.
Russia should be in no doubt that the EU will remain resolutely united as it takes the next steps in close coordination with partners.
The EU calls on the international community to demand from Russia the immediate end of this aggression, which endangers international peace and security at a global scale.
We call on Russia to fully respect international humanitarian law, and to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need. We also call on Russia to ensure the safety of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
The EU reiterates its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We stand by the people of Ukraine and its democratically elected institutions and representatives.
The EU also reiterates its unwavering support for, and commitment to, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and of the Republic of Moldova.
I would ask that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.
Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg and President Michel
We are at a watershed moment. And the three of us, standing here together, is yet more proof of how closely the European Union and NATO are responding to the Kremlin’s actions. The world can see that unity is our strength.
Early this morning, President Putin ordered atrocious acts of aggression against a sovereign and independent country, and innocent people. We will hold Russia accountable for this outrageous violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And what is at stake is not just Donbas, it is not just Ukraine. What is at stake is the stability of Europe and the whole international order, our peace order. President Putin chose to bring war back to Europe. In a determined and united response, the European Union will make it as difficult as possible for the Kremlin to pursue its aggressive actions.
Round about 30 minutes ago, I had a phone call with President Zelenskyy. He asked us for whatever the different stakeholders can do for help. We will later today present a package of massive and targeted sanctions to European Leaders for their approval. We are coordinated closely with our partners and allies – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Norway, but also, for example, Japan and Australia.
This package will include financial sanctions that harshly limit Russia’s access to the capital markets. These sanctions will have a heavy impact. Russia’s economy has already faced intensive pressure in the recent weeks. And these pressures will now accumulate. These sanctions will suppress Russia’s economic growth; increase the borrowing costs; raise inflation; intensify capital outflows; and gradually erode its industrial base.
The second main pillar of our sanctions concerns limiting Russia’s access to crucial technology. We want to cut off Russia’s industry from the technologies desperately needed today to build a future. Our measures will weaken Russia’s technological position in key areas, actually from which the elite makes most of their money. And this ranges from high-tech components to cutting-edge software. This will also seriously degrade the Russian economy in all areas in the future. Let me be very clear: It is President Putin who will have to explain this to his citizens. I know that the Russian people do not want this war.
The European Union and NATO have worked in close complementarity, and this crisis will bring us even closer together. It is our shared duty to stand up to the gravest act of aggression on European soil in decades. Our unity is our best strength. The Kremlin understands this very well, and that is why they have tried their best to divide us, but they have achieved the exact opposite. We are more united and more determined than ever. We are one Union, one Alliance, united in purpose.