The European Council resolutely condemns Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It urges Russia to immediately stop its indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. The atrocities being committed by Russian forces and the suffering and destruction being inflicted are unspeakable. The European Council calls on Russia to allow immediate humanitarian access and the safe passage of all civilians concerned. The European Council expects international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, to be fully respected. It also calls on Russia to immediately allow the safe return of Ukrainian individuals forcibly removed to Russia.
The European Council hails the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people and its leadership in their fight to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of their country. The European Union is unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression and build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. In this regard, it will continue to work closely with international partners.
The European Council commends all those helping to gather evidence and to investigate war crimes and the other most serious crimes, and supports the intensive work of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in this respect. It also salutes the work being carried out by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General with financial and capacity-building support from the European Union and its Member States. It welcomes the establishment of a Joint Investigation Team coordinated by Eurojust, whose role has been reinforced, and the ongoing operational support provided by Europol. Russia, Belarus and all those responsible will be held to account for their actions in accordance with international law.
The European Council is committed to intensify pressure on Russia and Belarus to thwart Russia’s war against Ukraine. The European Council calls on all countries to align with EU sanctions. Any attempts to circumvent sanctions or to aid Russia by other means must be stopped.
The European Council agrees that the sixth package of sanctions against Russia will cover crude oil, as well as petroleum products, delivered from Russia into Member States, with a temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline.
The European Council therefore urges the Council to finalise and adopt it without delay, ensuring a well-functioning EU Single Market, fair competition, solidarity among Member States and a level playing field also with regard to the phasing out of our dependency on Russian fossil fuels. In case of sudden interruptions of supply, emergency measures will be introduced to ensure security of supply. In this respect, the Commission will monitor and report regularly to the Council on the implementation of these measures to ensure a level playing field in the EU Single Market and security of supply.
The European Council will revert to the issue of the temporary exception for crude oil delivered by pipeline as soon as possible.
Humanitarian and financial support
The European Union will continue to provide support to Ukraine with a view to addressing humanitarian, liquidity and reconstruction needs.
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, the European Union has stepped up its support for Ukraine’s overall economic, social and financial resilience, including by providing humanitarian aid. In that regard, the European Council commends the results of the High-Level International Donors’ Conference co-hosted by Poland and Sweden.
The European Union and its Member States have provided protection to millions of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, and remain committed to welcoming and providing safety to them, including by helping neighbouring countries. The European Council invites the Commission to present new initiatives to support this effort within the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The European Union will continue to support the Ukrainian government in its urgent liquidity needs together with its G7 partners. It acknowledges the support announced in the G7 context. The European Union is ready to grant Ukraine new exceptional macro-financial assistance of up to EUR 9 billion in 2022. In this context, the European Council calls for the examination of the Commission proposal as soon as it is presented.
Ukraine’s reconstruction will require comprehensive support to rebuild the country for the future. The European Union and its Member States are prepared to play a major role in this regard. Therefore, a Ukraine reconstruction platform should be considered. It should bring together the Ukrainian government, the European Union and its Member States, the European Investment Bank as well as international partners, financing institutions, organisations, experts and interested parties. EU support for reconstruction will be linked to the implementation of reforms and anti-corruption measures consistent with its European path. The European Council invites the Commission to make proposals on this basis.
The European Council welcomes the efforts made by Member States to provide in their national law for appropriate confiscation measures and calls on the Council to swiftly examine the recent Commission proposal on criminal law measures in case of violation of EU sanctions. The European Council supports further options in line with EU and international law being actively explored, including options aimed at using frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.
The European Union also remains committed to continue bolstering Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. In this respect, the European Council welcomes the adoption of the recent decision of the Council to increase military support to Ukraine under the European Peace Facility.
The European Council welcomes the adoption of the decision to suspend import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union for one year.
The European Council takes note of the preparation of the Commission’s opinions on the application for EU membership of Ukraine as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, and will revert to the matter at its June meeting.
The European Union and its Member States will step up their efforts to reach out to third countries in order to support Ukraine in all these dimensions, counter the false Russian narrative and manipulation of information, and prevent sanctions evasion and circumvention.
Impact on neighbouring countries
The European Council follows closely the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on neighbouring countries and the Western Balkans. It emphasises the need to provide all relevant support to the Republic of Moldova as it deals with the interlinked energy and economic crises, and migration pressure arising from the war. The European Council reiterates its call for an end to repression in Belarus and recalls the democratic right of the Belarusian people to new, free and fair elections.