EU Statement on the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered at the 1463rd Permanent Council, 29 February 2024

  1. Last week, at the reinforced meeting of the Permanent Council, we commemorated two years since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The date on which we convened – 23rd February, marked the first anniversary since the adoption of the UNGA Resolution titled “Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine”. This Resolution underscores the need for a just peace in Ukraine, consistent with the UN Charter, including the principles of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States. The overwhelming majority of participating States who took the floor last week insisted that the first step to such peace is for the aggressor, Russia, to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

  2. Last week marked another anniversary – 10 years since peaceful Ukrainian protesters were shot dead on the Maidan – for standing up for the right to choose their future and the future of their country in line with democratic principles. A decade on, their vision continues to live and to inspire those that are currently defending their choice for a European future. We reiterate that the future of Ukraine and its people lies within the European Union.

  3. 26th February marked the Resistance Day to the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. It is a stark reminder that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine began already 10 years ago. No amount of Russian propaganda, including in relation to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, can change this reality. Recalling the Joint Statement of the Participants of the International Crimea Platform we repeat: Crimea is Ukraine!

  4. In this context, we categorically reject and strongly condemn the cynical but futile attempts by Russian officials, including within the OSCE, to distort facts, justify and whitewash Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine by spreading disinformation and war propaganda.

  5. In its reprehensible intimidation campaign Russia has recently listed in its „wanted list” a number of Europeans who have strongly spoken out against the Russian aggression. Such intimidation attempts will never undermine our unwavering support for Ukraine, nor our steadfast defence of democratic values and principles. The EU stands in steadfast solidarity with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, and all others unduly listed by Russian authorities as “wanted”, “foreign agents” or as “undesirable organisations”, including representatives of media and civil society.

  6. Ukraine is rightfully exercising, in accordance with international law, its inherent right to self-defence against Russia’s war of aggression, and therefore has the legal and moral grounds to liberate and regain full control of all territories temporarily and illegally occupied by Russia within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea. Madame Chair, more than ever, we remain united and true to our promise to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. For the people of Ukraine, for peace and security in Europe and for the rules-based international order to prevail.

  7. To this end, the EU and its Member States will continue their intensive global outreach efforts in cooperation with Ukraine and other partners towards all regions of the world to ensure the widest possible international support for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and the key principles and objectives of Ukraine’s Peace Formula, based on the UN Charter. We welcome the announcement of a high-level meeting to be hosted by Switzerland as part of the preparations for the Global Peace Summit.

  8. The EU’s 13th package of restrictive measures, adopted on 23rd February, is another tangible manifestation of our support for Ukraine and of our determination to continue to further weaken Russia’s ability to wage its war of aggression, targeting primarily the military and defence sectors and associated individuals, including those involved in armament supply to Russia, as well as members of the judiciary, local politicians and people responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children. The measures targeting those directly supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine apply not only to Russian individuals and entities but also third-country companies involved in producing and shipping goods and war technologies used by Russia to ensure effective enforcement.

  9. In conclusion, we once again demand that Russia immediately stop its unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all 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.