EU Statement on Russia's war on aggression against Ukraine

As delivered at the 1079th Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 29 May 2024

Following two FSC meetings during which official discussions on pressing politico-military matters falling under this Forum’s mandate were obstructed by the Russian
Federation, we welcome that the FSC can now come back to one of its core tasks
of providing a platform for dialogue. Going forward, we now count on reconvening
to our weekly meetings in which all delegations are able to deliver their statements
and engage in meaningful dialogue. This Forum is a platform for all delegations
and not just one.

Mr Chair, the developments in these past weeks clearly underline how important it
is for all of us to continue our work at the FSC. During this time, Russia has
intensified its attacks, resulting in significant numbers of both civilian and military
casualties. Many attacks target civilian infrastructure, in clear violation of
international humanitarian law. On 25 May, a particularly appalling Russian strike
hit a shopping mall in Kharkiv resulting in an initial death toll of 18 civilians. Yet,
these actions have not weakened the resolve of Ukrainians. And they can count
on the strong support by the EU and its Member States, be it political, military,
financial, economic, humanitarian, or diplomatic, for as long as it takes and as
intensely as needed. In particular, in view of today’s timely Security Dialogue on
military education, we highlight the work of the EU Military Assistance Mission in
support of Ukraine (EUMAM).

EUMAM aims to strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend
Ukraine’s territorial integrity and to deter and respond to possible future military
attacks. EUMAM training includes, among others: medical assistance, Chemical,
Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear defence training, demining, logistics and
communication, as well as maintenance and repair. It also provides leadership and
operational training, which includes the preparation of companies, battalions and
brigades in collective manoeuvres and tactics.

Until today, 52.000 soldiers (15 brigade units) have been trained, with a total of
60.000 soldiers to be trained by summer this year. EUMAM works closely together
with other like-minded international partners and is open to the participation of third
states, with OSCE participating State Norway already being involved. All mission
activities are located on EU soil. The training is supported by the provision of
equipment for lethal and non-lethal purposes to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Training is a crucial element for all Armed Forces personnel and can save lives on
a daily basis. The most effective life saving measure would be for Russia to end its
war of aggression. As such, the EU and its Member States reiterate that Russia
must immediately put an end to the unbearable suffering and devastation of
Ukraine and its people 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. Russia’s hostile and
increasingly escalatory rhetoric cannot mask its growing isolation and its huge
losses on the battlefield. Russia’s war of aggression must and will fail.

Thank you.