One month of war. One month of death, destruction, and suffering. One month of Russian terror against the people of Ukraine. And one month of the democratic world rising up, with full force, to condemn Russia and to stand against this barbaric and immoral war.
Mariupol. Like other cities, Mariupol will forever be engraved in the history of martyr towns. A theatre bombed, an art school bombed where so many people took refuge, 90% of the city damaged or destroyed, residents held hostage by Russian troops, no food, no water, no electricity, no heating. Mariupol. One month ago a vibrant city. Today, in ruins.
Russia is responsible for this war. Russia alone. Targeting women, children, civilians. These are crimes, and those responsible will face international justice. No impunity.
We are not alone in condemning this brutal war. Far from it. The EU — alongside our partners and allies — is rock-solid in our solidarity for Ukraine. For one month, an international coalition has risen up to denounce this war — nations, businesses, citizens, the United Nations. Together, we have one common goal: to defeat Vladimir Putin. Putin thought he would conquer Ukraine in a few days and he was wrong. He thought he would divide the EU and our allies and he was wrong, because the people of Ukraine are fighting bravely, defending their homes and the future of their children. Defending their democracy and defending our European common values.
The European Union, with our allies we stand as one and we are taking action against the Kremlin. With our international partners, we have imposed the heaviest sanctions we have ever adopted. Hitting the financial system. Crippling key economic sectors and cracking down on supporters of the regime. Freezing Russia’s foreign reserves, banning banks from SWIFT. The rouble has plummeted; multinationals are fleeing. Sanctions on Russian companies and on decision makers, propagandists, oligarchs. Freezing their EU assets, banning their travel in the EU, targeting their yachts, their villas, their private jets. We are implementing these sanctions and working to close the loopholes that provide an escape for Russia, and we are prepared to do more, to starve Putin’s war machine.
As we speak, the Ukrainian people are battling for their freedom. We will not abandon them. Because this is our political and moral duty. They are fighting not only for themselves, but for our common values and principles. In Versailles, two weeks ago, we decided to increase our humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine. Over 3 million people have fled to the EU, mostly women and children, and we are welcoming them with dignity. We will continue to offer them any assistance they need and to show solidarity with the countries on the front line.
We will also continue to provide military equipment to Ukraine, with €1 billion already mobilised through the European Peace Facility. We also have a very powerful tool in our Association Agreement with Ukraine, and we must make the most of it. Just last week, we continued our support in the energy sector by connecting Ukraine — and Moldova — to our European electricity grid.
We have also worked intensely on the diplomatic front to try to end this war. President Macron and Chancellor Scholz have also played an important role in our diplomatic efforts. I speak to President Zelenskyy nearly every day, and I have spoken with President Putin multiple times. The goal is clear: this war must end.
Our Ukrainian friends are also asking for another kind of help — political help. Ukraine is part of our European family. We agreed to support the European choice of Ukraine and its right to choose its own destiny. We have decided to immediately strengthen our bonds and deepen our partnership and to support Ukraine in pursuing its European path. We have proposed to launch a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund and an international donors’ conference to provide support to Ukraine for its immediate needs and to help rebuild a free and democratic Ukraine. […]