Referring to the aggression against Ukraine as “a direct threat to European Union’s security”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday took on Russia as well as China, saying the friendship between the two countries have “no limits”.
Speaking at the seventh edition of Raisina Dialogue 2022, India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, Leyen said the core principles that underpin the peace and security across the world are at “stake”.
In Asia as well as in Europe, she said, the images coming from Russia’s attack on Ukraine have shocked the world.
“I saw with my own eyes, the bodies lined up on the ground. I saw the mass graves. I saw the scars of bombs on schools, residential houses and hospitals. These are severe violations of international law,” the EU chief said, referring to her visit two-week ago in Ukraine.
“Targeting and killing innocent civilians, rejoin borders by force, subjecting the will of free people goes against the core principles enshrined in the UN Charter,” Leyen said.
In Europe, she mentioned, “We see Russia’s aggression as a direct threat to our security. We will make sure that the unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine will be a strategic failure. This is why we are doing what we can to help Ukraine to fight for freedom. This is why we need to impose massive sharp and effective sanctions.”Leyen later urged all members of the international community to support the efforts of the European Union for lasting peace.
She further said, “Russia and China have a pact” and it seems declared that the friendship between the two countries has “no limits”.
“They are no forbidden areas of cooperation. This was in February this year. And then, invasion of Ukraine followed,” Leyen said.
“If we consider what it means for Europe and Asia, Russia and China have forged seemingly unrestrained pact. They’ve declared that friendship between them has no limits, no forbidden areas of cooperation. It was in Feb this year. Then, the invasion of Ukraine followed,” she said.
The President of the European Commission asked, “what can be expected from the new International relations that both have called for”.
Noting that it is the “final moment” and the “decisions in these days will shape decades to come”, she said: “Our response to Russia’s aggression today will decide the future of both the international system and the global economy.””Will heinous devastation win or humanity prevail? Will the right of might dominate or the Rule of Law?…”She said, “what happened in Ukraine will have an impact on the Indo-Pacific region. It already has”.
“Rising prices of grain, energy and fertilizers as a direct result of Putin’s (Russian President Vladimir Putin) war of choice. Thus the outcome of the war,” she said.
“We are not only to determine the future of Europe but it (the war) will also deeply affect the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world,” said the President of the European Commission.
“For the Indo-Pacific region, it is as important as for Europe, the borders are respected, and the fears of influence is rejected. We want a positive vision for a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region as this region is home to half of the world’s population and the 60 per cent of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product),” the EU President said further.
“Our vision is that the Indo-Pacific region remains free and open, and becomes more interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient.”To this end, she said, we will deepen our engagements with our partners in the region, including Asia.
For China, she further said, we will continue to encourage Beijing to play its part for peace in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The relationship between the European Union and China is simultaneously strategic important and challenging. All at once, China is a negotiating partner and economic competitive…We will continue our engagements and cooperate in common challenges. And we will protect our essential interests and promote our common values.
Mentioning their relationship with India, she said, “Together, we (India and European Union) believe in the rule of law and fundamental rights. Together, we believe in democracy that is best delivered to the citizens.””Despite our geographical distance and despite the different languages we speak, when we look at each other, we do not meet as strangers, but close friends.”For the European Union to strengthen and energise, she said its partnership with India is a priority in the upcoming decade.
“Both India and the European Union are key for the sustainable future of our planet,” said the President of the European Commission.
European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.