The EU condemns “in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine”, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a press statement published on 24 February. Russia started its military aggression against Ukraine early in the morning today.
“By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability,” the statement says. “We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw its military from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century.”
According to the statement, the EU “called on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to respect international humanitarian law”.
Michel has also urgently convened an extraordinary meeting of the European Council. EU leaders will meet later today to discuss the crisis and further restrictive measures that will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its action, in close coordination with the EU’s transatlantic partners.
Von der Leyen will outline a further sanctions package being finalised by the European Commission and which the Council will swiftly adopt, says the press release.
“We deplore the loss of life and humanitarian suffering. The EU and its Member States are ready to urgently provide humanitarian emergency response,” says the statement. “The EU stands firmly by Ukraine and its people as they face this unparalleled crisis. The EU will provide further political, financial and humanitarian assistance. We are coordinating our response with our international partners, including NATO and G7 whose leaders will meet today.”
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