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Ukraine: Speech by High Representative Josep Borrell at the UN Security Council

New York
EEAS Press Team

Speech by HR/VP Josep Borrell at the UN Security Council concerning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. In his address to the Security Council, HR/VP Borrell said that Russia’s attempts to intimidate Ukraine and the countries supporting it would fail. He underlined the EU’s firm determination to continue to support Ukraine and that Russia would be held fully accountable for the crimes it has committed. 

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Madame la ministre [de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères de la France, Catherine Colonna]. Merci beaucoup à la Présidence française du Conseil de Sécurité [des Nations Unies] pour l’organisation de cette séance cruciale.  

It is more than 6 months now into this illegal, senseless and brutal war. As it has been said by many here today, this is a frontal attack on the United Nations Charter and the international rules-based order. It is a chemically pure attack on the United Nations Charter. 

Let’s join our voice to the International Court of Justice (ICC), that has ruled that Russia must halt its invasion immediately. By large majorities, the [United Nations] General Assembly has adopted resolutions calling on Russia to stop its aggression.  

Morally and politically, Russia has already lost the war. And increasingly, it is losing on the battlefield as well. Ukraine will prevail.  

The whole world has heard President Putin’s latest announcements on his plans to go ahead with sham “referenda” as a prelude to illegal annexation - which will never be recognised - also, his mobilisation of 300,000 reservists and his open nuclear threats.  

By all that, world security is in danger. Global leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York this week must send a clear and united signal that the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction is unacceptable in any circumstances. I am encouraged by the many statements I heard here today about this issue. 

Regrettably, President Putin is continuing along the dangerous path of escalation. He is trying to intimidate Ukraine and all countries that support Ukraine.  

But this will fail. It has failed in the past and it will fail again, as all wars of invasion eventually do. But how many more men, women and children need to die before the Russian President decides to silence his guns? 

This war is more than a war in Europe. At stake is the protection of weaker states from the more powerful ones. Do we want the global rule of law, or do we want the law of the jungle? Do we believe in spheres of influence or in the free choice of sovereign states? 

This war is a tragedy - in so many ways. In addition to the terrible casualties and the destruction caused in Ukraine, Russia is dragging the world into an economic recession and a global food crisis. As the European Union, we do what we can to counter this fallout. Our support for global food security amounts to more than €7.7 billion until 2024.  

We support the Black Sea Grain Initiative facilitated by the UN Secretary-General [António Guterres] and Turkey. Together with our European Union Solidarity Lanes, this has helped to lower global food prices – but unhappily not to cancel it. Two-thirds of the Ukraine grain exported this way goes to those countries that need it most - not to Europeans. 

The core issue today is accountability. Russian armed forces have been terrorising civilian populations and are now committing countless, unspeakable crimes: mass murder, destruction, rape and forced migration. All victims of Russia’s aggression deserve justice and reparation.  

We have seen the recent images from the massacres in Izyum [which] follow the pattern we saw in Bucha and elsewhere. As Russian troops are expelled, we discover the true horrors of their occupation.  

As President [of Ukraine, Volodymyr] Zelenskyy said in the General Assembly yesterday: where there have been crimes, there must be justice, otherwise peace will not be possible. We will do whatever it takes to ensure accountability. We rely on the International Criminal Court and on the Ukrainian authorities.  

We are supporting the ICC financially and technically and assisting the Office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General by providing training, expertise and equipment, including on collecting evidence.  

Madam President, ensuring accountability is the responsibility of all of us. We owe this not only to the victims – but also to the next generation, to the future of Ukraine. Because fighting impunity today will contribute to a more secure and just future for all.   

Thank you. 

Link to the video:

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