EU Statement on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine

As delivered at the 1075th Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 24 April 2024

1. Mr Chair, thank you for your commitment to keep Russia’s war of aggression
against Ukraine as top priority for this Forum, at a time when Russia continues
with its tactic of deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure, killing and injuring
people in order to break the will of the population to resist. On the very day of last week’s FSC meeting, three Russian missiles hit the downtown area of Chernihiv, including a hospital and a school, killing at least 18 people and leaving more than 70 injured. This is an appalling and utterly shameful murder of innocent civilians that is totally unacceptable.

2. Earlier in March this year, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine clearly stated and underlined that ‘indiscriminate attacks violating international humanitarian law committed by Russian armed forces have led to civilian casualties and the destruction and damage of civilian objects, including of protected objects, such as hospitals and cultural property.’ It also concluded again that ‘the multiplicity of such attacks shows a pattern of disregard by Russian armed forces for possible harm to civilians’.

3. Quoting further the Commission of Inquiry, it ‘has found new evidence that Russian authorities have committed violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law and corresponding war crimes in areas that came under their control in Ukraine’. The EU and its Member States condemn all these atrocities and Russia’s disregard for the international law in the strongest possible terms. We will continue to stand by Ukraine in the righteous defence of its territorial integrity, of its citizens, and of its right to exist and choose its own future.

4. The EU and its Member States, as confirmed by EU Heads of State or Government at their special meeting last week, reiterate our full unwavering support to Ukraine, its people and its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised border.

5. As we reaffirmed jointly with our partners in the G7, we are stepping up defence and security assistance to Ukraine as well as increasing production and delivery capabilities. We agreed on supporting efforts to assist Ukraine in building a future force to defend itself and deter aggression.

6. Additionally, we welcome the vote on the Ukraine aid bill by the U.S. Congress. As EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said, ‘Ukraine will have the transatlantic support it needs to stand up to Russian aggression’.

7. Mr Chair, the EU and its Member States reiterate that Russia must immediately stop its war of aggression, put an end to this unbearable suffering and devastation, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We also condemn the continued military support for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine provided by Belarus, as well as Iran and the DPRK. We urge all countries not to provide material or other support for Russia’s war of aggression, which is a blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and the OSCE’s core principles and commitments.

Thank you.

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