Russia/Ukraine: Statement by High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Lenarcic on violations of international humanitarian law

(Source: EEAS)

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the shelling of the maternity hospital in Mariupol by the Russian Armed Forces. We are horrified to see Russian armed forces committing growing atrocities and targeting the most defenceless and vulnerable. Such behaviour by invading forces is shameful, reprehensive and totally unacceptable. Those responsible for it in the Russian Federation will be held accountable for this heinous crime.

We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing siege of the city of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities under heavy bombardment by the Russian Armed Forces, causing horrors to civilian populations and creating humanitarian disasters.

These serious violations of international humanitarian law must be stopped immediately. We repeat our urgent call on Russia to live up to its obligations and commitments under international law and international humanitarian law as well as to cease its military operations immediately. Russia bears full responsibility for this act of military aggression and all the destruction and loss of life it causes. The EU welcomes the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry within the UN Human Rights Council as well as the opening of an investigation by the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor. Russia will be held accountable for these serious violations and war crimes.

We urgently call on Russia to respect humanitarian corridors and allow for the evacuation of the civilian population to other parts of Ukraine. We call on Russia to urgently allow full and unhindered humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.

We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its military actions, unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.

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