European Council Statements and remarks - 24 March 2022.
At NATO G7 leaders reaffirmed their resolve to ensure implementation of sanctions on the Kremlin• reduce reliance on Russian energy• address food security & • support the gathering of evidence of war crimes.
At the NATO Summit leaders decided to establish 4 additional battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, bringing the total to 8. This further strengthens our long-term deterrence and defense and is proportionate and non-escalatory. NATO Allies stand with Ukraine in upholding its right to self-defense. Allies will continue to provide further political and practical support with assistance in cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear nature.
NATO is providing tailored support to partners to resist Russian malign influence. NATO Allies call on all states, including China, to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict and abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort.
We, the Heads of State and Government of the 30 NATO Allies, have met today to address Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction. We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.
We call on President Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in line with the Aggression Against Ukraine Resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly of 2 March 2022.
Russia should comply with the 16 March ruling by the UN International Court of Justice and immediately suspend military operations. Russia’s attack on Ukraine threatens global security. Its assault on international norms makes the world less safe. President Putin’s escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.Ukrainians have inspired the world with heroic resistance to Russia’s brutal war of conquest. We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks on civilians, including women, children, and persons in vulnerable situations.
We will work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes.
We are deeply concerned about the increased risk of sexual violence and human trafficking. We urge Russia to allow rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians, and to allow for humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities.
We also condemn attacks against civilian infrastructure, including those endangering nuclear power plants. We will continue to counter Russia’s lies about its attack on Ukraine and expose fabricated narratives or manufactured “false flag” operations to prepare the ground for further escalation, including against the civilian population of Ukraine. Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences.
Russia needs to show it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a ceasefire. We call on Russia to engage constructively in credible negotiations with Ukraine to achieve concrete results, starting with a sustainable ceasefire and moving towards a complete withdrawal of its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Russia’s continuing aggression while discussions are taking place is deplorable. We support Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace, and those undertaken diplomatically by Allies to weigh in on Russia to end the war and relieve human suffering. We stand in full solidarity with President Zelenskyy, the government of Ukraine, and with the brave Ukrainian citizens who are defending their homeland.
We honour all those killed, injured, and displaced by Russia’s aggression, as well as their families. We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters.
Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defence under the United Nations Charter. Since 2014, we have provided extensive support to Ukraine’s ability to exercise that right. We have trained Ukraine’s armed forces, strengthening their military capabilities and capacities and enhancing their resilience.
NATO Allies have stepped up their support and will continue to provide further political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself. NATO Allies will also continue to provide assistance in such areas as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear nature.
NATO Allies also provide extensive humanitarian support and are hosting millions of refugees. Foreign Ministers will discuss further our support to Ukraine when they meet in April.We are united in our resolve to counter Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability. We are holding Russia and Belarus to account.
Massive sanctions and heavy political costs have been imposed on Russia in order to bring an end to this war. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia. We will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organizations, including the European Union.
Transatlantic coordination remains crucial for an effective response to the current crisis.We call on all states, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to uphold the international order including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the UN Charter, to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way, and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions.
We are concerned by recent public comments by PRC officials and call on China to cease amplifying the Kremlin’s false narratives, in particular on the war and on NATO, and to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
We remain committed to the foundational principles underpinning European and global security, including that each nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements free from outside interference. We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.
We are providing tailored support to partners affected by Russian threats and interference and will step up our assistance to help them resist Russian malign influence and strengthen their resilience, based on our partners’ requests and our long-standing partnership programmes.
In April, Foreign Ministers will consider concrete proposals for enhancing our support to these partners.We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and defend the security of our Allied populations and every inch of Allied territory. Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron-clad. In response to Russia’s actions, we have activated NATO’s defence plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force, and placed 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by Allies’ national deployments. We are also establishing four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
We are taking all measures and decisions to ensure the security and defence of all Allies across all domains and with a 360-degree approach. Our measures remain preventive, proportionate, and non-escalatory.
We will now accelerate NATO’s transformation for a more dangerous strategic reality, including through the adoption of the next Strategic Concept in Madrid. In light of the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our longer term deterrence and defence posture and will further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defence.
These steps will be supported by enhanced exercises with an increased focus on collective defence and interoperability. We are increasing the resilience of our societies and our infrastructure to counter Russia’s malign influence. We are enhancing our cyber capabilities and defences, providing support to each other in the event of cyber-attacks. We are ready to impose costs on those who harm us in cyberspace, and are increasing information exchange and situational awareness, enhancing civil preparedness, and strengthening our ability to respond to disinformation.
We will also enhance our preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. We will take further decisions when we meet in Madrid. The steps we are taking to ensure the security of our Alliance and of the Euro-Atlantic area will require adequate resourcing. Allies are substantially increasing their defence expenditures. Today, we have decided to accelerate our efforts to fulfil our commitment to the Defence Investment Pledge in its entirety.
In line with our commitment in Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, we will further strengthen our individual and collective capacity to resist all forms of attack. At our meeting in Madrid, we will submit additional plans on how to meet the Pledge.
Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent. President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies.
Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government - G7 Leaders’ Statement - Brussels.
- We, the Leaders of the G7, met today in Brussels at the invitation of the German G7 Presidency, to further strengthen our cooperation in light of Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal aggression and President Putin’s war of choice against independent and sovereign Ukraine. We will stand with the government and people of Ukraine.
- We are united in our resolve to restore peace and stability and uphold international law. Following the United Nations General Assembly resolution on 2 March 2022, we will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of the international community, in condemning Russia’s military aggression and the suffering and loss of life it continues to cause.
- The Russian leadership is obligated to immediately comply with the order of the International Court of Justice to suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine, without any further delay. We also urge Russia to withdraw its military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.
- We remain appalled by and condemn the devastating attacks on the Ukrainian population and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. We welcome the investigations of international mechanisms, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. We will work together to support the gathering of evidence of war crimes. The siege of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, and the denial of humanitarian access by Russian military forces are unacceptable. Russian forces must immediately provide for safe pathways to other parts of Ukraine, as well as humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities.
- We further call upon the Belarusian authorities to avoid further escalation and to refrain from using their military forces against Ukraine. Moreover, we urge all countries not to give military or other assistance to Russia to help continue its aggression in Ukraine. We will be vigilant regarding any such assistance.
- We will spare no efforts to hold President Putin and the architects and supporters of this aggression, including the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, accountable for their actions. To this end, we will continue to work together, along with our allies and partners around the world.
- We underline our resolve to impose severe consequences on Russia, including by fully implementing the economic and financial measures we already imposed. We will continue to cooperate closely, including by engaging other governments on adopting similar restrictive measures to those already imposed by G7 members and on refraining from evasion, circumvention and backfilling that seek to undercut or mitigate the effects of our sanctions. We task the relevant Ministers in a focused initiative to monitor the full implementation of sanctions and to coordinate responses related to evasive measures, including regarding gold transactions by the Central Bank of Russia. We stand ready to apply additional measures as required, continuing to act in unity as we do so. We commend those partners who have aligned with us in these efforts.
- Russia’s attack has already risked the safety and security of nuclear sites in Ukraine. Russian military activities are creating extreme risks for the population and the environment, with the potential for catastrophic result. Russia must comply with its international obligations and refrain from any activity that imperils nuclear sites, allowing unhindered control by the Ukrainian authorities, as well as full access by and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
- We warn against any threat of the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons or related materials. We recall Russia’s obligations under the international treaties to which it is a signatory, and which protect us all. In this regard, we categorically denounce Russia’s malicious and completely unfounded disinformation campaign against Ukraine, a state in full compliance with international non-proliferation agreements. We express concern about other countries and actors that have amplified Russia’s disinformation campaign.
- We are resolved in our support to the Ukrainian people in their heroic resistance to Russia’s unjustifiable and illegal aggression. We will step up our support to Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We thank all those who are already providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and ask others to join. We will furthermore collaborate in our efforts to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
- We will continue efforts to support Ukraine in defending its networks against cyber incidents. In preparation for any Russian malicious cyber response to the actions we have taken, we are taking steps to increase the resilience of the infrastructure in our respective nations by strengthening our coordinated cyber defences and improving our shared awareness of cyber threats. We will also work to hold accountable those actors that engage in destructive, disruptive, or destabilising activities in cyberspace.
- We further commend neighbouring states for their solidarity and humanity in welcoming Ukrainian refugees and third country nationals from Ukraine. We highlight the need to further increase international assistance to countries neighbouring Ukraine, and, as a concrete contribution to this end, underline our commitment to receiving, protecting, and supporting refugees and displaced persons as a consequence of the conflict. We thus all stand ready to welcome them on our territories. We will take further steps to broaden our support to Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
- We are concerned by the escalating and reinforced repression against the Russian people and the increasingly hostile rhetoric of the Russian leadership, including against ordinary citizens. We deplore the Russian leadership’s attempt to deprive Russian citizens of access to unbiased information through censorship, and denounce its malicious disinformation campaigns, which we will not leave unaddressed. We express our support to those Russian and Belarusian citizens standing up against the unjustified war of aggression against their close neighbour Ukraine. The world sees them.
- The people of Russia must know that we hold no grievances against them. It is President Putin, his government and supporters, including the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, who are imposing this war and its consequences on Russians and it is their decision that besmirches the history of the Russian people.
- We are taking further steps to reduce our reliance on Russian energy, and will work together to this end. At the same time, we will ensure secure alternative and sustainable supplies, and act in solidarity and close coordination in the case of possible supply disruptions. We commit to actively support countries willing to phase out their dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports. We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to increase deliveries to international markets, noting that OPEC has a key role to play. We will work with them and all partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies. This crisis reinforces our determination to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and of the Glasgow climate pact and limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C, by accelerating reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy.
- We stand in solidarity with our partners who have to bear the rising price of President Putin’s unilateral choice to wage war in Europe. His decision is putting the global economic recovery at risk, undermines the resilience of global value chains and will have severe impacts on the most fragile countries. We call on the international community to take action by fully recognising Russia’s responsibility and protecting the most vulnerable countries, with the support of international and regional institutions.
- More immediately, President Putin’s war places global food security under increased pressure. We recall that the implementation of our sanctions against Russia takes into account the need to avoid impact on global agricultural trade. We remain determined to monitor the situation closely and do what is necessary to prevent and respond to the evolving global food security crisis. We will make coherent use of all instruments and funding mechanisms to address food security, and build resilience in the agriculture sector in line with climate and environment goals. We will address potential agricultural production and trade disruptions, in particular in vulnerable countries. We commit to provide a sustainable food supply in Ukraine and support continued Ukrainian production efforts.
- We will work with and step up our collective contribution to relevant international institutions including the World Food Programme (WFP), in parallel with Multilateral Development Banks and International Financial Institutions, to provide support to countries with acute food insecurity. We call for an extraordinary session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to address the consequences on world food security and agriculture arising from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We call on all participants of the Agriculture Markets Information System (AMIS) to continue to share information and explore options to keep prices under control, including making stocks available, in particular to the WFP. We will avoid export bans and other trade-restrictive measures, maintain open and transparent markets, and call on others to do likewise, consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including WTO notification requirements.
- International organisations and multilateral fora should no longer conduct their activities with Russia in a business as usual manner. We will work closely with our partners to act as appropriate, based on shared interests, as well as rules and regulations of respective institutions.