Borrell: We act together to ensure the victory of international law

Borrell: We act together to ensure the victory of international law
# 23 February 2023 14:02 (UTC +04:00)

"The date February 24, 2022 will forever be remembered as the day Russia launched its brutal, unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell said in his article "One year of Russia's war on Ukraine: acting together will ensure the supremacy of international law", APA reports.

"This was and remains a case of pure aggression and a clear violation of the UN Charter. This war is neither "only a European issue", nor is it about "the West against the rest". It is a world we all want to live in: no one is safe in a world where the illegal use of force – by a nuclear power and a permanent member of the Security Council – would somehow become "business as usual". Therefore, international law must be enforced everywhere to protect themselves all from the politics of force, blackmail and military attack.

A year later, there is a risk that people become accustomed to the images of war crimes and atrocities they see – because there are so many, the words we use start to lose their meaning – because we have to repeat them so often, we get tired and our determination diminishes – as time passes and the task is difficult.

We cannot do this. Because every day Russia repeatedly violates the UN Charter, creating a dangerous precedent for the whole world with its imperialist policy. Every day, Russia repeatedly kills innocent Ukrainian women, men and children by launching a barrage of missiles at cities and civilian infrastructure. Every day, Russia is constantly spreading lies and fabrications.

For the European Union and our partners, there is no alternative to staying the course of our 'triple strategy': supporting Ukraine, pressuring Russia to stop its illegal aggression and helping the rest of the world deal with the consequences.

This is what we have been doing for a year now – and successfully. We enacted unprecedented sanctions; we reduced our dependence on Russian fossil fuels; and in close cooperation with key partners we have reduced by 50% the energy revenues that the Kremlin receives to finance its aggression. Working together, we have also mitigated the global ripple effects of falling food and energy prices, thanks in part to our 'Corridors of Solidarity' and the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

It is not enough to say that we want Ukraine to be able to defend itself – it needs the means to do so. Thus, for the first time ever, the EU delivered weapons to a country under attack. Indeed, the EU is now the leading "supplier" of military training for Ukrainian personnel to defend their country. We are also offering substantial macro-financial and humanitarian aid to support the Ukrainian people. And we decided to respond positively to Ukraine's request for EU accession. Finally, we are working to ensure accountability for war crimes committed by Russia.

Ukraine has shown its remarkable resilience, thanks in part to this support. And Russia has become more isolated, thanks to global sanctions and international condemnation from the vast majority of states in the UN General Assembly. Our collective goal is and remains a democratic Ukraine that prevails, ousting the aggressor, restoring its full sovereignty and, thus, restoring international legality.

Above all, we want peace in Ukraine, a comprehensive and lasting peace that is in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. Support for Ukraine and work for peace go hand in hand.

Russia's aggressive revisionism and its broader destabilizing moves are a global threat, affecting the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries. We have seen the effects of the Russian propaganda machine trying to push the legacies of the past, and we are seeing industrial-scale efforts at information manipulation and foreign interference. That is why the EU is working with partners, especially our future member states, to counter this threat. A key part of that is supporting media freedom and political pluralism. We are also increasing our support for conflict resolution efforts in the South Caucasus.

In a broader context, the Russian invasion underlined once again that countries and people must be free to determine their own future. The EU has made it clear that we are ready to respond to our partner's desire to integrate the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia into our Union, and we are working hard to achieve this goal. This means working together to build more resilient and inclusive societies and economies, develop and protect our democracies and strengthen social cohesion.

History and justice are on the side of Ukraine. But to speed up history and achieve justice, we need to step up our "triple strategy." We know this is a collective task. That is why the EU counts on all its partners to act in the spirit of shared responsibility and solidarity: to ensure that aggression will fail and international law will prevail," said Borrell.