Leaders of the 27 EU members states have said they would offer temporary protection to “all war refugees from Ukraine” and demanded a full and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory.
In a declaration issued early this morning at an EU summit in Versailles, EU heads of state and government said the Russians and Belarusians responsible for the invasion would be “held to account for their crimes”, including attacks on civilians.
The EU leaders said they were determined to apply more pressure on Russia and its ally Belarus. “We have adopted significant sanctions and remain ready to move quickly with further sanctions,” they said.
“Two weeks ago, Russia brought war back to Europe,” the statement said. “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.”
EU leaders welcomed the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and called for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities to be ensured immediately.
They said the EU was offering temporary protection to all war refugees from Ukraine, and commended 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,” the statement added.
Responding to Ukraine’s application to join the European Union, EU leaders acknowledged the “European aspirations and choice made by Ukraine”, adding that “Ukraine belongs to our European family.”
“The Council has acted swiftly and invited the European Commission to submit its opinion on Ukraine’s application to become an EU member in accordance with the relevant provisions of the treaties.”
In the meantime, EU leaders undertook, without delay, to further “strengthen the bonds” and “deepen the partnership” with Ukraine.
The European Council has also invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.
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