The European Union (EU) is going to advance, “as a matter of urgency”, in the preparation of new sanctions against Russia after the “atrocities”, which it condemns in the “strongest terms”, committed by the Russian armed forces in several Ukrainian cities that were occupied and have now been liberated.
In “these dark hours for the whole world”, the Twenty-seven expressed solidarity on Monday “fully” with Ukraine, a country that they will continue to support “firmly”while preparing new sanctions and helping to collect evidence so that those responsible for the “massacres” are brought to international justice, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in a statement on behalf of the EU.
“The EU will continue to strongly support Ukraine and will move forward, as a matter of urgency, in the work on new sanctions against Russia”said the European High Representative for Foreign and Defense Policy, after referring to the “disturbing images” of civilian deaths in Bucha and other towns near kyiv.
Those deaths, as well as the destruction of civilian infrastructure, show “the true face of the brutal war of aggression that Russia is waging against Ukraine and its people,” said Borrell, after asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop this war that began on February 24 immediately and unconditionally.
For Borrell, the “massacres” in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns “they will be inscribed on the list of atrocities committed on European soil”.
“The Russian authorities are responsible for these atrocities, committed while in effective control of the area. They are subject to the international law of occupation,” said the Spanish politician.
Therefore, he stated that “Perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violationsas well as responsible government officials and military leaders, will be held accountable.”
In this sense, Borrell assured, the European Union supports “all measures” to guarantee accountability for human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine by the Russian armed forces.
In particular, the Twenty-Seven “fully” support the investigation initiated by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the work of the Commission of Inquiry of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
What’s more, the EU is assisting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General and Civil Society by focusing on collecting and preservation of evidence of war crimes, Borrell recalled.
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced this Sunday in a report that in the areas of Ukraine “Summary executions” and “other serious abuses” that could amount to war crimes have been committed under Russian control.
The NGO claims to have documented between February 27 and March 14 several cases in which Russian forces committed what would constitute war crimes against civilians in occupied areas in the Chernigov, Kharkov and kyiv regions.