European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have condemned in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Russian President Vladimir Putin to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities. Putin made his statement on the evening of 21 February.
“This step is a blatant violation of international law as well as of the Minsk agreements. The Union will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act,” says their common declaration issued last night.
Von der Leyen and Michel reiterated the EU’s unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
Later on, Charles Michel spoke with Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenskyy to express the EU’s full solidarity with Ukraine, while the EU High Representative Josep Borrell discussed next steps with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“The decrees by President Putin ordering a so-called peacekeeping mission into the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics is another outright aggression against Ukraine, a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty”, Borrell wrote on Twitter.