EU Statement – UN Security Council: Briefing on Ukraine
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
We welcome today’s discussion on Ukraine. It is essential that the Security Council remain seized of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Thank you to the briefers for sharing your updates.
I would like to focus my intervention on three points:
(1) First, I wish to address the continued violations of the UN Charter by the Russian Federation;
The EU continues to condemn in the strongest terms the unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine by Russia, and aided by Belarus. This blatant violation of international law, and in particular of the United Nations Charter, is having devastating consequences, in Ukraine and around the world. It seriously undermines the international rule-based system that underpins global peace and security and forms the bedrock of the United Nations.
As expressed by the overwhelming majority of UN member states we reiterate our demand that Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, immediately ends its war, unconditionally ceases all hostilities, and withdraws its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders.
We also condemn the announced preparations for a staged ‘referendum’ in parts of the Kherson region on joining the Russian Federation. The international community will not recognize the result of such an illegal referendum.
In response to Russia’s aggression, the EU remains steadfast in its support to Ukraine, together with our partners, in its courageous defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
2) Second, International humanitarian law must be respected.
We condemn the heinous and repeated attacks by the Russian Armed Forces on civilians and civilian infrastructure. In the past month alone Russian missile strikes have killed innocent civilians, including children, across most regions of Ukraine.
The continued shelling of civilians and civilian objects is unacceptable and amounts to war crimes. Russia bears full responsibility for these crimes and will be held accountable for them. We further urge Russia to allow safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian accesswithout delay, enabling aid to be delivered to those in need.
3) Third, and last, I would like to highlight the importance of efforts to alleviate global food insecurity.
The EU welcomed the progress announced last week in Istanbul towards ensuring the safe and secure export of Ukrainian grains via the Black Sea ports. We commend the role of Türkiye and the United Nations in facilitating this positive outcome which has the potential to significantly ease global food insecurity. The EU has been consistently supportive of these efforts and in particular we congratulate the Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, Martin Griffiths and their teams for their relentless work. It is now essential that all parties swiftly and in good faith implement the commitments made. The initial indications that grain cargo ships can leave already in the next days give us hope.
We strongly condemn the missile strikes carried out by Russia on the port of Odesa less than a day after they signed the agreement and in the following days. This defies the deal reached to allow grain exports from blockaded Ukrainian ports. The attacks once again demonstrate Russia’s disregard for international law and commitments made.
The EU is firmly committed to supporting the food security of our partners worldwide by increasing our humanitarian assistance, supporting food production and getting Ukrainian grain to world markets. The EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes Plan has facilitated the export of 2.5 million tons in June alone, up from 0.6 million tons in April. We also strongly support the UN led efforts to promote a swift multilateral response to address the global food security crisis. In this context, we are mobilising over 7.7 billion Euros until 2024 to support the most affected partners around the world and are working closely with our Member States to further step-up these efforts.
I emphasize, once again, that the EU has no sanctions on the agri-cultural sector in Russia.EU sanctions do not prevent Russian flagged vessels from carrying grain, food or fertilisers to any third country. We are ready to look into issues such as market avoidance and over compliance and will address any concrete obstacles that are raised. Lastly, let us not forget that Russia itself is aggravating the global food crisis with its war of aggression against Ukraine and its repeated attacks against Ukraine’s grain fields, storage, and transport facilities. If Russia is truly committed to alleviating the situation all over the world and Africa in particular, it must immediately stop its war.
In conclusion, let me reiterate the full solidarity of the EU with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We will continue to provide strong support, including humanitarian, economic, political and military assistance for as long as it takes. The EU is also firmly committed to demonstrating global responsibility and solidarity in addressing the international impacts of Russia’s aggression, especially on the most vulnerable.