The Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-seven have agreed to impose new sanctions against Russia after a new escalation of tension in the war against Ukraine has begun and after the announcement of the referendums in the Donestk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. This has been announced in a statement by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who has detailed that Brussels will continue to support Ukraine by supplying military equipment. “Russia, its political leaders and all those involved in the organization of these referendums, as well as other violations of International Law and International Humanitarian Law in Ukraine, will be held accountable and additional restrictive measures will be presented against Russia as soon as possible,” Borrell said in the letter, after an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of the 27. All the ministers are currently in New York, where the UN General Assembly is taking place. In this sense, he reiterated the European Union’s condemnation of “the latest escalation of Russia of its illegal aggression”, despite “numerous calls” by the international community to the Kremlin to stop “its military aggression” against to Ukraine. Borrell has asserted that Russia has chosen “the path of confrontation” by announcing a partial mobilization in Russia, by supporting the organization of “illegal referendums” in the Ukrainian territories currently “occupied” by Russia and by threatening again with the use of weapons of mass destruction. “References to nuclear weapons do not weaken our determination, resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine and our comprehensive support for Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty for as long as necessary. Furthermore, the Union reaffirms its commitment to continue to support the resilience of the eastern partners and the western Balkans,” said the High Representative. “The European Union stands firm in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and demands that Russia immediately, fully and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment throughout the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”, he added, recalling that Ukraine has the right to defend itself. Nevertheless, Borrell congratulated the Ukrainian Armed Forces for their “courage” and the successes achieved during the current counter-offensive. He also lamented that, in addition to the “immense suffering” caused by the Russian aggression to the Ukrainian people, Russia has “chose to further spread” the cost of the war also for the Russian population through partial mobilization.
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