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

As delivered at the 1472nd Permanent Council, 9 May 2024

  1. For a third consecutive year Ukraine was not able to peacefully celebrate Orthodox Easter, as Russia sustained its shelling of Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. On Easter Sunday alone, Russia targeted a total of ten Ukrainian regions, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more. The following day Russia resumed its campaign of intentionally attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by targeting energy facilities in the Sumy region. This campaign continued throughout the night of 8th May with a Russian massive aerial attack on civilian infrastructure in at least six Ukrainian regions, including Kyiv and Lviv. Amidst all this, the toll on the civilian population is increasing, especially among the most vulnerable. Last week, UNICEF reported that at least 25 children had been killed in the first quarter of 2024 as a result of Russia‘s war of aggression, representing an  increase compared to the same period last year, and serving as a stark reminder of the appalling impact of RU’s war of aggression on Ukraine’s children.

  2. We also remain deeply concerned about the increasing number of reports, including from Russian information sources, on the use of riot control chemical agents by Russia in combat operations. Additionally, we take very seriously reports of the alleged use of the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian soldiers. This is not the first instance in which the world has been alerted to Russia's illegal use of chemical weapons. The Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Russia is a State party, unequivocally prohibits the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances, as well as the use of riot control agents as a method of warfare. There can be no impunity for their use, and perpetrators will be held accountable in accordance with international law.

  3. As we celebrate Europe Day today, we recall the values and ideals, upon which Europe was rebuilt out of the ashes of the Second World War – democracy, freedom of choice, and unity in diversity. These are the same values and ideals which currently guide Ukraine’s courageous fight against Russia’s neo-imperialistic ambitions. Today we pay tribute to the brave Ukrainian people, whose heroic resistance against the Russian aggressor is a powerful example of how European ideals should be upheld and defended. We applaud and will continue to support the just cause of the Ukrainian people, and welcome Ukraine’s progress in advancing on the necessary reforms on its EU path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.

  1. We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We are determined to continue providing Ukraine and its people with all the necessary political, financial, economic, humanitarian, legal, military and diplomatic support for as long as it takes and as intensely as needed, also taking into account the urgent need to speed up and intensify the delivery of all necessary military assistance to Ukraine in its rightful self-defence against the Russian aggressor. Russia must not prevail.

  2. We will continue intensive global outreach efforts and cooperation with Ukraine and other partners 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. This Formula is the only viable peace proposal on the table, and we rely on all countries, committed to peace, to join us in putting it into action, including by participating in the upcoming international high-level peace conference in Switzerland. To date, Russia has not demonstrated any willingness to pursue a fair and sustainable peace. Instead, Russia’s claims on so-called “new territorial realities” refer to its illegal and brutal attempts to annex Ukrainian territories, which flagrantly violate the UN Charter. No matter how hard Russia tries to discredit and obstruct this event, it cannot rewrite the UN Charter and the OSCE‘s founding documents, including the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris. Russia must not succeed in its revisionist ambitions.
  1. We reiterate that the first step to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine is for the aggressor, Russia, to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia must also immediately end its continued, systematic and brutal attacks against Ukraine and its people. We condemn the continued military support for Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal 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.