In an address to the Ukrainian people, President of the European Council Charles Michel has said the European Union has a moral and political duty to rise to this historic challenge of Russia’s “brutal, savage war” against Ukraine.
The Ukrainian people “are the innocent victims of this folly”, he said in his statement on 27 February. “Today, you are resisting fiercely and heroically. You are defending your land and your dignity. Your freedom and your children. Your integrity. Your democracy.”
And he added: “It is also the dignity, freedom, and democracy of the whole of Europe that is under attack. And that you are defending.”
President Michel said the EU stood by Ukraine, “not just with words, but with concrete and immediate action”.
The EU is offering material and military support: “We are organising the emergency delivery of defensive military equipment. Guns, ammunition, rockets, and fuel are on their way to your troops. We are also providing significant money and humanitarian assistance.”
And unprecedented sanctions “are already hitting hard those who launched this war against you”, including Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov, and all the oligarchs who support them.
“With our allies, we are cutting Russia, and its economy, from the international financial system. This will severely cripple Russia’s ability to operate globally. We are also closing European airspace to Russian airlines. And we will go further,” he warned.
Michel said he was in constant contact with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Your President – and you the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian nation – are rising to this historic moment. And today, all of Europe must also rise to this historic moment. We stand with you,” he said.
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