Russia/Ukraine: Statement delivered by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union at the extraordinary OSCE Permanent Council

24.02.2022
Brussels

Mr. Chair, on behalf of the EU, I would like to thank you for swiftly convening this extraordinary Permanent Council. These are among the darkest hours for Europe since World War Il.

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation.

We demand President Putin to cease Russian military operations immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine. Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. It will be held accountable for its actions.

We also condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and call on it to abide by its international obligations.

Russia's military attack against Ukraine - an independent and sovereign State - is a flagrant violation of international law and the core principles on which the international rules-based order is built.

The EU together with transatlantic and like-minded partners have been united in their untiring efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the security crisis caused by Russia. Russia has not reciprocated these efforts and instead opted unilaterally for a grave and premeditated escalation.

The EU has made clear from the outset and at the highest political level that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs.

The EU's response will therefore include both sectoral and individual restrictive measures coordinated fully with our transatlantic and like- minded partners.

Russia should be in no doubt that the EU will remain resolutely united as it takes the next steps in close coordination with partners.

The EU calls on the international community to demand from Russia the immediate end of this aggression, which endangers international peace and security at a global scale.

We call on Russia to fully respect international humanitarian law, and to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need. We also call on Russia to ensure the safety of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

The EU reiterates its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We stand by the people of Ukraine and its democratically elected institutions and representatives.

The EU also reiterates its unwavering support for, and commitment to, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and of the Republic of Moldova.

I would ask that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.

Thank you.

Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Paloma Hall Caballero
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 296 85 60
+32 (0)460 76 85 60