European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article24 February 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
European Council conclusions on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine
The European Council condemns 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. The European Council underlines that this includes the right of Ukraine to choose its own destiny. Russia bears full responsibility for this act of aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it will cause. It will be held accountable for its actions.
The European Council demands 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 European Council calls on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to respect international humanitarian law and stop their disinformation campaign and cyber-attacks.
The European Council deplores the tragic loss of life and human suffering caused by the Russian aggression. It stands in solidarity with the women, men and children whose lives have been affected by this unjustified and unjustifiable attack. It calls on Russia and Russia-backed armed formations to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need.
The European Council also strongly condemns the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and calls on it to refrain from such action and to abide by its international obligations.
The EU has reacted swiftly and decisively to Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed separatist entities and deployment of its armed forces by adopting restrictive measures in response. The European Council today agrees on further restrictive measures that will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its action, in close coordination with our partners and allies. These sanctions cover 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 will adopt without delay the proposals prepared by the Commission and the High Representative.
The European Council calls for the urgent preparation and adoption of a further individual and economic sanctions package that will also cover Belarus.
The European Council reiterates its unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. It calls on all countries not to recognise the two self-proclaimed separatist entities and not to facilitate or in any way assist them.
The EU is united in its solidarity with Ukraine and will continue to support Ukraine and its people together with its international partners, including through additional political, financial, humanitarian and logistical support and an international donors’ conference. Following the December 2016 decision by the EU Heads of State or Government, the European Council acknowledges the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement.
The European Council firmly believes that the use of force and coercion to change borders has no place in the 21st century. Tensions and conflict should be resolved exclusively through dialogue and diplomacy. The EU 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. It will continue strong coordination with partners and allies, within the UN, OSCE, NATO and the G7.
The European Council calls for taking forward the work on preparedness and readiness at all levels and invites the Commission, in particular, to put forward contingency measures, including on energy.
The European Council will remain seized of the matter.