European Council: Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the casualties it will cause

European Council: Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the casualties it will cause

February 25, 2022

On 24 February, the European Council condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. 

By its illegal military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermining European and global security and stability,” according to the European Council conclusions adopted on Thursday evening. “Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause.” 

The European Council demanded that Russia immediately ceases its military actions, unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders. The Council also called on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to respect international humanitarian law and stop their disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks.

Earlier, the EU reacted decisively to Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed separatist entities and deployment of its armed forces by adopting restrictive measures in response. On 24 February, the Council agreed on further sanctions covering the financial sector, the energy and transport sectors, dual-use goods as well as export control and export financing, visa policy, additional listings of Russian individuals and new listing criteria. 

The Council also deplored the tragic loss of life and human suffering caused by the Russian aggression and said that it firmly believes that the use of force and coercion to change borders has no place in the 21st century.

The EU also strongly condemned the involvement of Belarus in this aggression and called on it to refrain from such action. Meanwhile, the Council called for the urgent preparation and adoption of a further individual and economic sanctions package that will also cover Belarus.
The EU, say the conclusions, will continue cooperating closely with neighbours, and reiterates its unwavering support for, and commitment to, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and of the Republic of Moldova. 

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