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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article24 February 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

President von der Leyen and HR/VP Borrell condemn the barbaric attack by Russia against Ukraine

VDL and JB

This morning, President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice-President Borrell delivered a press statement in which they condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and expressed full solidarity and support for Ukraine and its people. President von der Leyen said:  “We condemn this barbaric attack, and the cynical arguments to justify it. It is President Putin, who is bringing war back to Europe. In these dark hours, the European Union and its people stand by Ukraine and its people. Russia's target is not only Donbass, the target is not only Ukraine, the target is the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order. And we will hold President Putin accountable for that.” President von der Leyen also announced that the Commission is preparing a package of sanctions that will be presented today to European leaders. The President said: “With this package, we will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to technologies and markets that are key for Russia. We will weaken Russia's economic base and its capacity to modernise. And in addition, we will freeze Russian assets in the European Union and stop the access of Russian banks to European financial markets. Like with the first package of sanctions, we are closely aligned with our partners and allies – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, but also, for example, Japan and Australia. These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin's interests and their ability to finance war.” The full statement by President von der Leyen is available in EnglishFrenchand German. The statement by HR/VP Borrell is availablehere. The full video can be watched here. A joint statement by President von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel is also available here.