“It’s a hybrid war. It combines the violence of guns with the poison of lies,” Mr. Michel said, describing lies coming from the Kremlin — such as justifying the war as a preventive measure against the alleged genocide of Russian-speakers in Ukraine.
“It’s wrong and it’s dirty,” he said.
Also included in Russia’s “web of lies” was that Russia’s aggression is a “special operation” and not a war.
However, Mr. Michel insisted that it was indeed an “unprovoked, illegal and unjustified” war aimed at forcibly changing internationally recognized borders.
Next, he cited the lie that sanctions against Russia would cause food and fertilizer shortages, pointing out that even before the war, Russia itself had drastically reduced grain and fertilizer exports – “favoring price volatility” on the world market.
Moreover, while Russia militarily blockaded Black Sea ports, making maritime trade impossible, the European Union (EU) opened “solidarity corridors” to export millions of tons of food from Ukraine.
“In fact, there is a very simple way to end the food crisis: Russia stops the war, withdraws from the territory of Ukraine and lifts the blockade of the ports,” said the President of the European Council.
“War of Colonization”
Imperialism and reprisals are the only bases for “this war of colonization” aimed at Ukraine, he continued, noting that aggression has deliberately trampled international law and the UN Charter.
The threat of nuclear weapons and the use of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant as a military base “must stop,” Mr Michel stressed, reaffirming the EU’s support for efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to restore the safety of Europe’s largest nuclear plant.
Flagging that the EU had chosen to respect borders rather than aggression, cooperation rather than threats, and a rules-based order rather than the law of the best, he said: “Russia is scary today. The Kremlin brought war back to Europe.
The president then warned that he would not allow his destructive actions to jeopardize “our fierce will to act for the common good.”
From the effects of COVID-19 to the decline of the Human Development Index and extreme weather conditions to the curtailment of the rights of women and minorities, he described multilateral cooperation as “collective intelligence…[and] The DNA of the European Union”.
Mr. Michel emphasized that the EU is active in the UN, the G7 and the G20 and has a strategic partnership with Africa, the African Union, Japan, South Korea, India and India. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The president said he was looking forward to giving “new impetus” to the EU’s relations with the countries of the Latin American continent and the Persian Gulf.
“And we hope that emerging countries, including China, will sincerely engage in joint efforts for peace and development,” he said.
Right of veto
Noting that a strong multilateral system requires mutual trust, Mr. Michel asserted that the current Security Council is neither inclusive nor representative.
“The use of the veto should be the exception, but it is becoming the rule,” he said, advocating “necessary and urgent” reform.
“And if a permanent member of the Security Council launches an unprovoked and unjustified war that has been condemned by the General Assembly, his suspension from the Security Council should be automatic.”
A senior official of the European Union noted that leadership is “showing the way and, above all, achieving results.”
“Energy and climate change are two sides of the same coin,” he said.
“Overcoming the energy crisis means reducing the climate threat. Protecting our biodiversity and oceans means securing our future. Climate neutrality is our compass.
The council president pledged to campaign at the upcoming UN climate conference (COP27) in November to “deliver on the Paris pledges and go beyond” for a fair and just transition, reminding that “no country can protect our planet alone”.