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United against Russia’s aggression on Ukraine

joint op-ed by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia and the Heads of Mission of EU Member States to Serbia


Last Thursday, Russia launched a full-scale military aggression on Ukraine by land, air and sea killing and injuring many innocent people, destroying infrastructure, causing a human tragedy in Europe. The Russian army is seeking to occupy many cities across Ukraine, including its capital, Kyiv.

The European Union is united in its resolve to defend peace, international law and a rule-based system. We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.

No-one had attacked or threatened Russia, not Ukraine nor any other country. Kremlin’s claims that Ukraine is governed by Nazis, seeking to acquire nuclear weapons and commit a genocide against Russian-speaking population inside Ukraine are ridiculous and blatant lies. Ukraine and Ukrainians only aspire to live freely and peacefully in their own country.

A unilateral aggression of such a magnitude against an independent, sovereign neighbour constitutes a major threat to international peace and security. For over 70 years, the EU and its partners have developed a model of cooperation, where our countries flourished in cooperation with each other and not at the expense of each other; where solidarity prevails; where we solve our disagreements through dialogue and legal means and which is open to its neighbours and whole the world through international cooperation and solidarity. We are open to our partners in the Western Balkan to join our Union, which we all cherish and are determined to protect.

The use of force and coercion that Russia is employing has no place in the 21st century. War is never a solution, as people in the Western Balkans have painfully experienced at the end of the last century. By putting its nuclear forces on alert, Russia is taking a completely irresponsible path.

The EU reiterates its unwavering support to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. It is united in its solidarity and will continue to support Ukraine and its people. Russia must immediately cease military actions, unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

The EU has already adopted massive sanctions against Russia to respond to its grave violations of international law and the aggression against Ukraine. The Kremlin has tested the European Union and its partners’ resolve and solidarity and the European Union and its Member States have proved their capacity for swift, resolute and coordinated action. The world has to stand up to this brazen challenge to our collective security, which is the biggest threat to European stability since WWII. We know that the Russian people do not support this war of aggression.

We are at a turning point in European history and times of war sometimes ask for difficult decisions. Over the past few days EU member states have taken steps that up to then were difficult to imagine. We made these policy shifts because the Russian aggression calls for them. The situation not only needs us to put the common interest above national interests, but also shows us that in this case the common interest is the national interest.

We underline the message of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on 28th February: the entire international community needs to join forces and help to end Russia’s military aggression. Serbia is part of that international community and a candidate member state of the EU. Part of EU-accession is full alignment with the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Today, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on the UN-resolution on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Every vote matters. Every vote counts. And we are counting on Serbia.

Signed by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia and the Heads of Mission of EU Member States to Serbia

Nj.E. g-din Emanuele Žiofre, ambasador Evropske unije

Nj.E. g-din Pjer Košar,ambasador Francuske

Nj.E. g-din Tomaš Kuhta, ambasador Češke

Nj.E. g-đa Anika Ben David, ambasadorka Švedske

Nj.E. g-din Raul Bartolome Molina, ambasador Španije

Nj.E. g-din Kyn Adam, ambasador Belgije

Nj.E. g-din Atila Pinter, ambasador Mađarske

Nj.E. g-din Rafal Perl, ambasador Poljske

Nj.E. g-đa Suzan Šajn, ambasadorka Danske

Nj.E. g-din Demetrios Teofilaktu, ambasador Kipra

Nj.E. g-đa Izult Ficdžerald, ambasadorka Irske

Nj.E. g-din Vitautas Pinkus, ambasador Litvanije

Nj.E. g-din Jorgos Diakofotakis, ambasador Grčke

Nj.E. g-din Karlo Lo Kašo, ambasador Italije

Nj.E. g-din Girts Jaunzems, chargé d’affaires Letonije

Nj.E. g-din Filip Donkel, ambasador Luksemburga

Nj.E. g-din Just Reintjes, ambasador Holandije

Nj.E. g-din Fedor Rosoha, ambasador Slovačke

Nj.E. g-din Gordon Paće Bonelo, ambassador Malte

Nj.E. g-đa Kristi Karelson, ambasadorka Estonije

Nj.E. g-din Petko Dojkov, ambasador Bugarske

Nj.E. g-din Nikolaus Luteroti,ambasador Austrije

Nj.E. g-đa Silvija Davidoju, ambasadorka Rumunije

Nj.E. g-din Kimo Lahdevirta, ambasador Finske

Nj.E. g-din Hidajet Bisčević, ambasador Hrvatske

Nj.E. g-din Tomas Šib, ambasador Nemačke

Nj.E. g-đa Viržinia Pina, ambasadorka Portugala

Nj.E. g-din Damjan Bergant, ambasador Slovenije