AT THIS DARK HOUR, after we see Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and big disinformation campaigns and data manipulation, it’s important to separate lies — invented to justify what can’t be justified — from info. The info are that Russia, a significant nuclear energy, has attacked and invaded a peaceable and democratic neighboring nation, which posed no menace to it, nor provoked it. Furthermore, President Vladimir Putin is threatening reprisals on every other state which will come to the rescue of the individuals of Ukraine. Such use of pressure and coercion has no place within the 21st century.

What President Putin is doing is just not solely a grave violation of worldwide regulation, it’s a violation of the fundamental rules of human co-existence. Together with his option to convey struggle again to Europe, we see the return of the “regulation of the jungle” the place would possibly makes proper. The goal is just not solely Ukraine, however the safety of Europe and the entire worldwide rules-based order, based mostly on the UN system and worldwide regulation.

His aggression is taking harmless lives, crushing individuals’s want to dwell in peace. Civilian targets are being struck, clearly violating worldwide humanitarian regulation, forcing individuals to flee. We see a humanitarian disaster growing. For months, we pursued unparalleled efforts to realize a diplomatic resolution. However President Putin lied to the faces of all who met him, pretending to be taken with a peaceable resolution. As an alternative, he opted for a full-scale invasion, a fully-fledged struggle.

Russia should stop its army operations instantly, and to unconditionally withdraw from the complete territory of Ukraine. The identical goes for Belarus, which has to right away cease its involvement on this aggression and respect its worldwide obligations. The European Union is united in providing its sturdy assist to Ukraine and its individuals. This can be a matter of life and loss of life. I’m making ready an emergency bundle to assist the Ukrainian armed forces of their struggle.

The worldwide group will now in response go for a full-scale isolation of Russia, to carry President Putin accountable for this aggression. We’re sanctioning those that finance the struggle, crippling the Russian banking system and it entry to worldwide reserves.

The EU and its companions have already imposed large sanctions on Russia that focus on its leaders and elites and strategic sectors of the Kremlin-run financial system. The intention is to not hurt the Russian individuals, however to weaken the Kremlin’s capability to finance this unjust struggle. In doing this, we’re intently aligned with our companions and allies — the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. We additionally see many international locations from around the globe rallying to guard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We stand collectively on the fitting facet of historical past within the face of Russia’s horrifying assault on a free and sovereign nation.

To justify its crimes, the Kremlin and its supporters have engaged in an enormous disinformation marketing campaign, which began already weeks in the past. We’ve seen Russian state media and their ecosystem peddling untruths in social media networks with the intention to deceive and manipulate. The Western Balkans as properly have been focused by the Kremlin’s disinformation operations for a lot too lengthy and know how you can detect when being uncovered to data manipulation.

The Kremlin propagandists name the invasion “a particular operation,” however this cynical euphemism can’t hidew the truth that we witness a fully-fledged invasion of Ukraine, with the intention to crush its freedom, official authorities and democratic buildings. Calling the Kyiv authorities “neo-nazi” and “Russophobic” is nonsense: all manifestations of Nazism are banned in Ukraine. In fashionable Ukraine, excessive right-wing candidates are a fringe phenomenon with minimal assist, with out passing the barrier to enter the parliament. The Ukrainian Authorities didn’t minimize the Donbass off and it has not prohibited the usage of Russian language and tradition. Donetsk and Luhansk are not any republics, they’re Ukrainian areas managed by Russia-backed and armed separatist groupings.

We all know this — and lots of Russians know this. There have been brave protests in cities throughout Russia because the invasion began, demanding the top of the aggression towards a peaceable neighboring nation. We hear their voices and acknowledge their braveness in talking out, and we see many distinguished public figures in Russia protesting this mindless invasion.

I proceed to work with our companions around the globe to make sure the joint motion of the worldwide group towards the Kremlin’s conduct. On Feb. 25, solely Russia vetoed a UN Safety Council Decision on Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, with China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstaining. From everywhere in the world, international locations condemn Russia’s assaults and on the Basic Meeting, the complete worldwide group wants to affix forces and assist to finish Russia’s army aggression by adopting the associated UN Decision.

Though distant, what occurs in Europe issues to this area. The individuals in South East Asia, together with within the Philippines, sadly know too properly what struggle is. They’ve skilled the struggling related to the struggle. They know why it’s so vital to struggle for freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. They perceive very properly what the individuals of Ukraine are going by means of.

The Philippines fought for its independence after which suffered in World Warfare II. It’s due to these bitter reminiscences of struggle that they worth peace and their sovereignty.

We’ve constantly stood by the Philippines when its territorial integrity was threatened and recalled that the UN constitution and worldwide regulation is for all and never for just a few. We count on the federal government of the Philippines to facet with the European Union at the moment in historical past.

With this struggle on Ukraine, the world won’t ever be the identical once more. It’s now, greater than ever, the time for societies and alliances to return collectively to construct our future on belief, justice and freedom. It’s the second to face up and to talk out. Would possibly doesn’t make proper. By no means did. By no means will.


Josep Borrell is the excessive consultant of the European Union for International Affairs and Safety Coverage/ vice-president of the European Fee.

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