Statement by the French Embassy in Cyprus as presidency of the EU council, the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the European Parliament Office in Cyprus – February 25th 2022.
Today the European Union Ambassadors to the Republic of Cyprus and high ranking officials from the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a meeting with the Ukrainian Ambassador to Cyprus to express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its government.
With the ongoing military attack against Ukraine, Russia is breaking the most fundamental rules of the international order before the eyes of the world. Russia alone has chosen this course. Over the past few months, we have spared no effort to try to find a peaceful solution to this crisis through diplomatic channels. Russia, regrettably, did not respond to our offers of dialogue. It did not keep its own words to our leaders, nor its written commitments enshrined in the Minsk agreements.
The Ukrainians have done nothing that could justify this bloodshed. The aim of this war is to destroy one thing above all – the hope of the people in Ukraine that, after decades without freedom, they would have a right to democracy, a right to peace and a right to a better future without oppression.
The Russian Government has chosen this path of unilateral aggression alone. Neither Ukraine, nor NATO or others have done anything to justify this bloodshed. We are convinced that many people in Russia, too, are ashamed of this attack and appalled that Russia’s name will be damaged for decades by the unscrupulous murder of their brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
Today more than ever the European Union stands united. We are all shocked, but we are standing strong facing that challenge to all of us. We have prepared ourselves for these events and will now act together with our partners and allies, coordinating every step with our friends in Ukraine. The package of massive and targeted sanctions European Leaders approved last night clearly demonstrates that resolve. It will have maximum impact on the Russian economy and the political elite. And we will strengthen our security and our allies.
But today this is not just about Europe. No country in the world can accept that the sovereignty of another state is called into question only because its stronger neighbour so decides. With our diplomatic networks across the world, we now call on all states which, like us, believe in the Charter of the United Nations to stand up to this aggression together.
This war in our immediate neighbourhood will have repercussions for us too. The sanctions against Russia, rising prices and falling stock markets will have an impact on all European countries. We did not seek this situation. However, we cannot avoid it, nor do we wish to, we are therefore taking our responsibilities to the fullest. The European peace order of the past decades is the foundation for life in prosperity and peace. If we do not act resolutely to defend it now, we will pay an even higher price.
We stand with Ukraine and all Ukrainians