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

OSCE Permanent Council 1432, Vienna, 13 July 2023

Mr. Chair, more than 500 days have passed now since the start of Russia's
unprovoked, unjustified, and illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. During
this time, the European Union has been standing steadfastly with Ukraine
and its people, who are courageously defending their country, its
independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally
recognised borders. We have demonstrated in unwavering unity our political
support and solidarity with the Ukrainians. We have mobilised and provided
Ukraine with comprehensive financial, humanitarian, legal, and military
support to rightfully defend itself against Russia’s aggression. We will
continue supporting Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes.

Unable to achieve its imperialistic objectives and unable to break the
resolve of the Ukrainian people to defend their homeland, Russia’s Armed
Forces and their proxies continue their deliberate attacks against Ukrainian
cities and critical civilian infrastructure. We strongly condemn the most
recent attacks against residential areas of Lviv (6 July), Mykolaiv and
Orikhiv (10 July), where a humanitarian support delivery centre was
targeted, and other Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv and Odesa. Deliberate
attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are reprehensible and totally
unacceptable. They amount to war crimes. Russia must immediately cease
its deplorable attempts to terrorise the Ukrainian people.

Russia will have to fully compensate Ukraine and its people for all the
damage and suffering inflicted in the context of its war of aggression. The principle of the “aggressor pays the damage” must be upheld. Moreover,
Russia will not escape accountability for any war crimes and other serious
international crimes committed, including for the crime of aggression.

We thank the North Macedonia OSCE Chair-in-Office and the Bulgarian
Forum for Security Cooperation Chair for dedicating yesterday’s joint PCFSC meeting to discuss the Security and Environment Nexus. The impact
of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine’s environment is detrimental in
an unprecedented scale. Up to half a million hectares of Ukraine’s territory
are now suspected to be contaminated with mines, and it will require
decades to clear this land of them and the unexploded ordnance. In other
areas, such as those affected by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, the
full impact on Ukraine’s environment and economy is yet to be assessed.

We deplore Russia’s continued transformation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear
Power Plant (ZNPP) into a military base and the reported ongoing attacks
on Ukrainian armed forces from that location. Russia must withdraw all its
military equipment and personnel, including that of Rosatom, from the
ZNPP, and return full control to its rightful owner, Ukraine. In the event of
any nuclear incident in Ukraine, Russia will bear full responsibility for it. The
EU strongly supports IAEA efforts to ensure nuclear safety and security of
the ZNPP, in full respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Furthermore, Russia continues to weaponise food, thus undermining global
food security. We once again urge Russia not to impede the extension of
the UN Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) and to fully comply with the
conditions agreed. Any disruption to the export of Ukrainian grain to those
most in need worldwide will solely be Russia's responsibility. We reject
Russia’s continuous disinformation activities about the nature of the BSGI.
Since August 2022, the BSGI has helped to revive grain shipments from
Ukraine's Black Sea ports, contributing to a global reduction in food prices
and easing the burden for some of the world‘s most food-insecure countries. As part of our response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the
EU’s Solidarity Lanes and the efforts of EU Member States remain
instrumental in bolstering global food security. 

Mr. Chair, Ukraine’s right to defend itself is unquestionable. This right is
enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. The EU will continue providing its
tangible contribution to help Ukraine exercise this right. At the last European
Council meeting of 28-29 June, EU leaders reiterated that the EU and
Members states stand ready, together with partners, to help Ukraine defend
itself in the long term, deter acts of aggression and resist destabilisation

The EU reiterates its support for President Zelenskyy’s initiative for a just
peace. We will continue working with Ukraine on the 10-point peace plan.
We reiterate that any initiative for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace
in Ukraine must be based on full respect for its independence, sovereignty
and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

To date, Russia has shown no willingness to cease its hostilities, withdraw
its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, and
work towards a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace. The Kremlin is
only intensifying its brutal aggression and war propaganda, using
irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, without abandoning its goal of subjugating
Ukraine and undermining its statehood and independence. 

The EU condemns the continued military support for Russia’s war of
aggression provided by the Belarusian authorities. It urges all countries not
to provide material or other support for Russia’s war of aggression.

The EU reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine‘s independence,
sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised
borders. We demand that Russia ceases its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and withdraws all its military forces, proxies, and
equipment, unconditionally and entirely, from the whole territory of Ukraine.
Russia must also immediately cease actions endangering the safety and
security of civilian nuclear facilities in Ukraine.


Potential Candidate Country GEORGIA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND,
LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as
well as ANDORRA, MONACO and SAN MARINO align themselves with this
* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue
to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.