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Defense & Security

Video message of President Charles Michel for the Third Summit of the Crimea Platform

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Image Source : Shutterstock

by Charles Michel

First Published in: Aug.23,2023

Sep.08, 2023

Dear President Zelenskyy, dear Ukrainian friends,

 

Two years ago I represented the EU at the first international summit of the Crimea Platform. And I stated clearly that Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be fully restored. And this applied to Crimea and this applied to the region of Donetsk and Luhansk. And I stand by that today.

 

Since Russia invaded your country, you have suffered nearly 550 days of death and destruction, and Crimea is being used as a strategic springboard to launch its brutal attacks.

 

And last September, just like they did in Crimea, Russia tried to illegally annex Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, and this is again a cynical attempt to grab more land, to steal the identity of Ukrainian citizens, to abduct your children and to drive people from their homeland, like they are doing to the Tatars.

 

I pay tribute to Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, who travelled to Saudi Arabia with you, President Zelenskyy, in search of peace.

 

Russia is perfecting the toolbox of terror and persecution that they applied in Crimea over nine long years, and they are now committing atrocities in cities and villages in the whole of Ukraine, many amounting to war crimes.

 

The EU will continue to call for full accountability for these crimes, including for the crime of aggression, and will not recognise any illegal attempt to change the status of Ukraine’s territories, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, because respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries is a basic principle of the UN Charter and that’s why we support you, President Zelenskyy, and your peace formula based on these very principles.

 

In Ukraine you are fighting for your freedom, you are fighting for your future and for your homeland, and in the EU we know you are also fighting for our common values. And that’s why we have imposed massive sanctions against Russia and that’s why we are supporting you with weapons and ammunition, and we will strengthen this support. We are also helping to meet your humanitarian needs, and we are determined to back your country with strong financial support.

 

We stand with you in your fight for freedom, and we will stand with you as you rebuild your country. Our total support for Ukraine amounts to more than €76 billion. And we are preparing a multiannual financing plan of roughly €50 billion.

 

Russia also continues to weaponise food, including by blockading and attacking your seaports. And this cruel Russian tactic hits the most vulnerable around the globe hardest.

 

In the EU we continue to support the efforts of the United Nations and Turkey to get the Black Sea Grain Initiative back up running. And we are also strengthening our Solidarity Lanes through the EU to help get Ukrainian agricultural products to global markets.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this war is also a fight for your future, for your dream of a bright, democratic and more prosperous future within the EU.

 

Last year Ukraine received EU candidate status. So your European Union future is no longer a question of if, it is a question of when. And later this year, the European Council will discuss the possibility of opening accession negotiations. And I am confident that the Ukrainian people and the leaders will rise to this historic moment.

 

You can count on my personal support, you can count on the EU. We will stand by your side for as long as it takes.

 

Slava Ukraini!

First published in :

European Coucil

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Charles Michel

President of the European Council. 

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