Statement of the heads of state or government, meeting in Versailles, on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, 10 March 2022Friday, 11 March 2022 12:12
During the first day of the informal meeting, EU leaders adopted a statement on the Russian aggression against Ukraine. They discussed its consequences and the EU response.
1. Two weeks ago Russia brought war back to Europe. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. Russia, and its accomplice Belarus, bear full responsibility for this war of aggression and those responsible will be held to account for their crimes, including for indiscriminately targeting civilians and civilian objects. In this respect we welcome the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation. We call for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities to be ensured immediately with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We demand that Russia ceases its military action and withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally, and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.
2. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country and our shared values of freedom and democracy. We will not leave them alone. The EU and its Member States will continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support. We are committed to provide support for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine once the Russian onslaught has ceased. We are determined to increase even further our pressure on Russia and Belarus. We have adopted significant sanctions and remain ready to move quickly with further sanctions.
3. Countless people are fleeing the war in Ukraine. We offer temporary protection to all war refugees from Ukraine. We commend European countries, notably at the borders with Ukraine, for showing immense solidarity in hosting Ukrainian war refugees. The EU and its Member States will continue to show solidarity and provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to all refugees and the countries hosting them. We call for funds to be made available without delay through a swift adoption of the proposal on Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) and through ReactEU. We call on Russia to fully abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. It must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the victims and internally displaced persons in Ukraine, and allow safe passage for those civilians who want to leave.
4. The European Council acknowledged the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement. On 28 February 2022, exercising the right of Ukraine to choose its own destiny, the President of Ukraine submitted the application of Ukraine to become a member of the European Union. The Council has acted swiftly and invited the Commission to submit its opinion on this application in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties. Pending this and without delay, we will further strengthen our bonds and deepen our partnership to support Ukraine in pursuing its European path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.
5. The Council has invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.
On the second day, EU leaders will discuss how to strengthen European sovereignty, reduce dependencies and design a new growth and investment model.
The meeting is hosted by the French presidency and is chaired by Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
Statement of the heads of state or government
Council of Europe leaders make joint statement on the aggression of the Russian Federation against UkraineWednesday, 09 March 2022 12:14
Strasbourg, 08.03.2022 – The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Luigi Di Maio, the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have made the following statement:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, an unjustified military attack of one member State of the Council of Europe against another member State. We reiterate our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
On 25 February 2022, following an exchange of views with the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers decided to suspend the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute and reaffirmed the principles to which we are unanimously committed, in particular respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. The Committee also called on the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations in Ukraine.
We call on the Russian Federation to implement the interim measures indicated by the European Court of Human Rights on 1 and 4 March 2022. The right to life must be respected and guaranteed. In this respect we call on the Russian Federation to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, to ensure the safety of medical establishments, personnel and emergency vehicles, to ensure unimpeded access of the civilian population to safe evacuation routes, healthcare, food and other essential supplies, as well as to ensure rapid and unconstrained passage of humanitarian aid and movement of humanitarian workers.
The Council of Europe also reiterates its call upon Russian authorities to comply with the principles and values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law which our Organisation represents on its own territory. The Russian Federation must guarantee to all persons under its jurisdiction the rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to liberty and security, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
We once again call on the Russian Federation to stop its aggression, return to the path of diplomacy and fully recommit to European values. We will continue to follow the situation closely and remain committed to taking further measures.”
Ukraine and Russia are expected to hold a third round of peace talks on Monday, according to a member of the Ukrainian delegation. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a phone conversation with his French counterpart to discuss the situation in Ukraine. #GLOBALink
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Statement by the President of Georgia - Today we are all grateful to Ukraine, which is fighting for our freedom!Wednesday, 02 March 2022 14:19
The dignity of Georgia has always been and still is that we have always stood by our principles and have stood, where Georgia should have!
No one expects us to take measures that would endanger the country, however, everyone expects solidarity from us – you are expecting it, so am I. This is why I am in Paris today and will be visiting Brussels tomorrow – to express Georgian solidarity to Ukraine.
At a time, when all of Europe is united, we too have to become part of this unity. Today, a new window opens, where Europeans are ready to look differently at the future of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. We have to be here and want everyone to remember (and this is why I am here) that Georgia, like Ukraine, is one of those countries that tomorrow will be part of Europe, of the Europe that today has showed its dignity with its unity and its active support for Ukraine.
Today, we are all grateful to Ukraine that is fighting for our freedom and we don’t want a different image of Georgia on the international arena.
We are the country that has historically always been faithful to its principles.
Statement by the President of Georgia
On 1 March, the European Parliament welcomed Ukraine’s application for candidate status, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said, addressing the extraordinary Plenary Session of the European Parliament on ‘Russian aggression against Ukraine’.
Following the request of the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, Metsola said that the European Parliament recognises Ukraine’s European perspective. “As our Resolution clearly states, we welcome Ukraine’s application for candidate status and we will work towards that goal. We must face the future together.”
In her speech to the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen supported this move: “When we last spoke, he told me again about his people’s dream to join our Union. Today, the EU and Ukraine are already closer than ever. There is still a long path ahead. We have to end this war. And we should talk about the next steps. But I am sure: Nobody in this hemicycle can doubt that the people that stands up so bravely for our European values belongs in our European family.”
President of the European Council Charles Michel added that “President Zelensky … opened his heart to us. He spoke of the announcement that has now been officially addressed to us… It will be up to us Europeans to rise to the occasion”. He mentioned that admission “is a difficult subject because it concerns enlargement”.
“And we know that within the European Union there are different opinions, which can sometimes be nuanced on this subject,” said Michel. “It will be up to the European Commission to issue an opinion, from which the Council will not escape its responsibilities. The Council will have to seriously analyse the symbolic, political, strong and, I believe, legitimate request that has been expressed. It will then have to give direction and make the right choice, with composure and determination, in the face of this request, which has been expressed today, eye to eye and with an emotion that touches us all.”
During the meeting with David Zalkaliani, Kelly Degnan thanked the Georgian government for its support to UkraineWednesday, 02 March 2022 12:24
The Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani met with the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan. The main topic of discussions was the ongoing war in Ukraine, the current security environment and the partners’ support of Ukraine. The U.S. Ambassador thanked the Government of Georgia, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for their political and practical support for Ukraine. The Minister of Foreign Affairs once again affirmed the close coordination with the strategic partner in the light of the ongoing processes.
"I again received unwavering support from the United States, our main strategic partner, for Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration course, and the assessments that followed our statements of support for Ukraine are fully backed and shared by the United States," - he said.
"The United States welcomes Georgia's clear support for Ukraine," Kelly Degnan said after meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. The American diplomat underlined the support of the Georgian government and people of Georgia for Ukraine, including the importance of the humanitarian aid sent to Ukraine, as well as the support the Ukrainians citizens in Georgia. "We should also mention the very generous donations by the Georgian people, business community and the government, and the humanitarian assistance, as well as the support to Ukrainian citizens, including those here, in Tbilisi, Georgia," Kelly Degnan said.
The U.S. Ambassador also welcomed the Georgian Foreign Ministry's clear support for Ukraine in both bilateral and multilateral formats:
"We strongly welcome the important statements made by Minister David Zalkaliani and the Foreign Ministry regarding Russia's aggression, as well as their clear support within the multilateral organizations like the UN, United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, where Georgia made very important statements of support for the Ukrainian people."
On 27 February, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council gave its political approval to a support package for the Ukrainian armed forces, new sanctions, diplomatic engagement to isolate Russia to support Ukraine and the region, as well as measures to counter disinformation.
According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the Council decided to use all its capabilities to provide the Ukrainian army with lethal weapons worth €450 million and another €50 million for non-lethal supplies – fuel and protective equipment.
Borrell also thanked Poland, which has offered to act as a logistics hub for transferring this material aid to Ukraine.
The High Representative also said that the EU would strengthen Ukraine’s cyber defence.
The ministers also agreed to expand the list of sanctions against individuals who play a key role in Putin’s system. The list will be published on Monday 28 February.
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Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations have started in the Gomel region in Belarus, media reports said Monday.
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China's position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and stays unchanged, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday. #GLOBALink
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We are extremely concerned about the developments in Ukraine. Russia’s military actions undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter and fundamental principles of the international law that will have severe consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for the entire international community. We express strong solidarity with our friends, Ukrainian people and call on the international community to take all the necessary steps towards de-escalation and to stop the violence.