On second anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine, EU leaders issue joint statement: EU to continue supporting Ukraine, whose future lies in EU

On the eve of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Presidents of the European Council Charles Michel, the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Parliament Roberta Metsol issued a joint statement.

The text of the statement was distributed in Brussels on Friday. "The European Union will 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," they said.

EU leaders said "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 European Union will always support Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders," according to the statement.

EU leaders said the beginning of Russia's long-term aggression against Ukraine started with the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol ten years ago. "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," they said.

EU leaders said Ukraine faces constant brutal and indiscriminate attacks from the Russian Federation every day. "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," according to the statement.

They also addressed the issue of the prospects for Ukraine's membership in the EU. "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 EUR 50 billion financial assistance package for 2024-2027 will help Ukraine meet its immediate needs, rebuild its economy and society, modernise its institutions and consolidate democracy and the rule of law," EU leaders said.

They also expressed confidence that the EU will continue to meet Ukraine's immediate military and defense needs, including the supply of desperately needed ammunition and missiles. "We have taken unprecedented actions at the EU level to ramp up European defence 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 defence readiness and European sovereignty. We are also working on future security commitments which will help Ukraine defend itself, resist destabilisation efforts and deter acts of aggression in the future," according to the statement.

EU leaders are also convinced that 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. We have also taken the first concrete steps towards directing extraordinary revenues stemming from Russian immobilised assets to support Ukraine. We will continue our targeted actions to further isolate Russia in international fora," they said.

In addition, EU leaders expressed support for the Ukrainian Peace Formula "for 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," EU leaders concluded their joint statement.