Three EU leaders praise courage of Ukrainian people in joint statement

European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in a joint statement expressed their respect for the heroism of the people of Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invaders.

The full text of their statement has been published on the website of the European Commission, Ukrinform reports.

"Today marks a tragic anniversary: that of Russia's full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine in manifest violation of international law and the UN Charter. Two years of violence, brutality, terror and destruction. We shall never forget the initial shock of the attack, the horror of the events in Borodianka, Bucha, Mariupol. Yet, in spite of all the continuing atrocities and suffering inflicted upon it across the country, Ukraine is standing firm. The heroic Ukrainian people are demonstrating fortitude and determination in defending their homeland and fighting for their freedom and our shared European values," the document said.

According to the leaders of the key European institutions, the European Union will always support Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. The illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol 10 years ago marks the beginning of Russia's sustained aggression against Ukraine.

"Russia and its leadership bear sole responsibility for this war and its global consequences, as well as for the serious crimes committed. We remain determined to hold them to account, including for the crime of aggression. Every day, Ukraine is facing the constant brutal and indiscriminate attacks of its aggressor. More than ever, we remain united and true to our promise to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. For the people of Ukraine, for peace and security in Europe and for the rules-based international order to prevail," the EU leaders said.

Read also: French Foreign Ministry releases video in support of Ukraine

They added that the European Union would continue its strong and unwavering political, military, financial, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian support to help Ukraine defend itself, protect its people, its cities and its critical infrastructure, restore its territorial integrity, bring back the thousands of deported children, and bring the war to an end.

The joint statement recalls that the European Union has decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and will help it on its path towards EU membership. The future of Ukraine lies in the European Union. The European Union will continue to provide Ukraine with regular and predictable financial support. The 50 billion euro financial assistance package for 2024-2027 will help Ukraine meet its immediate needs, rebuild its economy and society, modernize its institutions and consolidate democracy and the rule of law.

"We will continue to address Ukraine's pressing military and defense needs, including deliveries of urgently needed ammunition and missiles. We have taken unprecedented actions at the EU level to ramp up European defense industry production, and we will continue to increase the capacity, which will allow us to step up our military support and cooperation with Ukraine while simultaneously strengthening our defense readiness and European sovereignty. We are also working on future security commitments which will help Ukraine defend itself, resist destabilization efforts and deter acts of aggression in the future," the EU leaders said.

According to the document, Russia and its leaders will pay a growing price for their actions.

"Together with partners, we have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia and those complicit in the war and remain ready to increase the pressure on Russia to limit its ability to wage war," the statement said.

"We have also taken the first concrete steps towards directing extraordinary revenues stemming from Russian immobilized assets to support Ukraine. We will continue our targeted actions to further isolate Russia in international fora," the statement added.

The EU leaders reaffirmed their support for the Ukrainian Peace Formula to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace based on the principles of the UN Charter and international law as well as all efforts towards a Global Peace Summit with the widest possible international support.

"Today, our flags will be flying side by side as a symbol of our solidarity, commitment and resolve," Michel, von der Leyen and Metsola said.

Photo: IMAGO/Belga