The EU will continue to back Ukraine and pressure Russia and confront it with the truth, said European Council President Charles Michel, addressing the UN Security Council on 6 June.
“The Kremlin may prohibit and prosecute the use of the word ‘war’, but that does not change the heartbreaking reality. Thousands of dead Ukrainian women, children and men. Atrocities. Rapes. Countless Ukrainian cities bombed into rubble. This is a war. A barbaric war waged by a permanent member of this Council,” said Michel.
Addressing the current Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, Michel noted that the Kremlin is using food supplies as a “stealth missile” against developing countries, and that Russia is solely responsible for the upcoming food crisis: the war “is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty and destabilising entire regions”.
“I have seen it with my own eyes. A few weeks ago in Odesa, millions of tons of grain and wheat were stuck in containers and ships because of Russian warships in the Black Sea and because of Russia’s attack on transport infrastructure. And it is Russian tanks, Russian bombs and mines that are preventing Ukraine from planting and harvesting,” said Michel.
The European Council President also said the Kremlin was targeting grain storage and stealing grain in Ukraine while shifting the blame on others.
“This is cowardly. This is pure and simple propaganda… The EU has no sanctions on the agricultural sector in Russia. Zero. And even our sanctions on the Russian transport sector do not go beyond our EU borders,” said Michel, addressing Nebenzia. Michel added: “You may leave the room, maybe it’s easier not to listen to the truth Mr. Ambassador.”
Concluding his speech, Michel said that Russia is attacking one country, but also attacking European shared values, such as human dignity, tolerance, multilateral cooperation and international law. “So this is more than a war against one nation. It is a war against all that we have built over generations since World War II,” said Michel.
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