EU Statement on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine

As delivered at the 1067th Forum for Security Co-operation, Vienna, 24 January 2024

1. Mister Chair, tomorrow sees the unthinkable and distressing landmark of 700 days since the start of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified full-scale invasion in Ukraine. During this catastrophic period of time, Russia, an OSCE participating State, blatantly violated international law and the OSCE acquis, in particular the Helsinki Final Act and brought death and unspeakable sufferance and destruction to Ukraine. Civilians, including children, as well as women and men defending the Ukrainian sovereign territory are dying every day in their homeland because of Russia’s war of aggression. In addition, Russia’s deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure including residential buildings, hospitals, schools and power plants, brings further hardship and punishing living conditions to the people of Ukraine. Today’s security dialogue also exemplified that the already dire situation of being at risk every day will persist for many years after Russia’s atrocious and brutal war of aggression is over.

2. Let us reassure everyone here today and the world that, in the words of the High Representative Borrell in a speech delivered on his behalf last week in the European Parliament, ‘we will stand by our fellow Ukrainians now, while the war is raging, and once the peace has been achieved. This is our goal, and we will do it as long as it takes’. His words made it clear that we consider it ‘our role and duty to – not only continue but – increase our support to Ukraine, on all fronts but especially on military assistance as we witness the relentless attacks Ukraine faces by the Russian aggressor.’

3. In her speech at the World Economic Forum last week, President von der Leyen also underlined the need for ‘a sustained supply of weapons to defend Ukraine and regain its rightful territory […] (and) capabilities to deter future attacks by Russia.’

4. As we speak, work is progressing on the European Defence Industrial Strategy,
which will take into account Ukraine's military needs and Ukraine's industrial
capacity. Already, in less than one year since the EU plan to deliver ammunition to Ukraine was agreed by Member States in March 2023, we have made visible
progress. The European industry has production capacities of more than one
million units for the manufacture of ground-to-ground ammunition other than artillery shells, and will soon have the capacity to produce one million artillery shells a year.

5. With a budget of EUR 500 million, the work is moving forward under the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP). Several calls for proposals took place in December, focusing on production of explosives, powder, shells, missiles, as well as testing and reconditioning certification. Our defence competitiveness will help to provide Ukraine with the necessary support.

6. Further training also remains key for the brave men and women rightfully defending their homeland, notably under the Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine, through which the EU and its Member States have already trained over 30,000 soldiers. Strengthening the capacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces through training measures and the provision of military and other types of equipment for lethal and non-lethal purposes by Member States make a significant contribution to Ukraine’s ability to rightfully defend its territorial integrity against the Russian aggression.

7. It goes without saying that in addition to military, further political, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic support by the EU and its Member States will also

8. Mister Chair, the EU and its Member States reiterate that Russia must immediately stop its illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We reiterate our strong call on the Belarusian authorities to stop providing support to Russia’s war of aggression, and to abide by their international obligations.

Thank you.



The Candidate Countries NORTH MACEDONIA, MONTENEGRO, ALBANIA, UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, and GEORGIA, the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this statement.