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European Council conclusions on Ukraine, the membership applications of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, Western Balkans and external relations, 23 June 2022

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II. UKRAINE

4. The European Council discussed the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in its different dimensions. The European Council reiterates that it firmly stands with Ukraine and that the European Union will continue to provide strong support for Ukraine’s overall economic, military, social and financial resilience, including humanitarian aid.

5. The European Council resolutely condemns Russia’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and urges Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. International humanitarian law, including on the treatment of prisoners of war, must be respected. Ukrainians, notably children, who have been forcibly removed to Russia must be immediately allowed to return safely. Russia, Belarus and all those responsible for war crimes and the other most serious crimes will be held to account for their actions, in accordance with international law.

The adoption of the sixth package of EU sanctions further intensifies pressure on Russia to end its war against Ukraine. Work will continue on sanctions, including to strengthen implementation and prevent circumvention. The European Council calls on all countries to align with EU sanctions, in particular candidate countries. Work should swiftly be finalised on the Council decision adding the violation of Union restrictive measures to the list of EU crimes.

6. The European Union remains strongly committed to providing further military support to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. To this end, the European Council calls on the Council to swiftly work on a further increase of military support.

7. The European Council notes that the Commission will soon present a proposal to grant Ukraine new exceptional macro-financial assistance of up to EUR 9 billion in 2022. It calls on the Commission to swiftly present its proposals on EU support for the reconstruction of Ukraine, in consultation with international partners, organisations and experts.

8. Russia, by weaponising food in its war against Ukraine, is solely responsible for the global food security crisis it has provoked. The European Council urges Russia to immediately stop targeting agricultural facilities and removing cereals, and to unblock the Black Sea, in particular the port of Odesa, so as to allow the export of grain and commercial shipping operations. The European Council supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to this end. The European Council underlines that EU sanctions against Russia allow the free flow of agricultural and food products and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

9. The European Council strongly supports the efforts on the Solidarity Lanes to facilitate food exports from Ukraine via different land routes and EU ports. It calls on the Commission and the Member States, building in particular on the FARM initiative as well as UN and G7 initiatives, to step up their efforts:

(1) to support developing countries to reorient, where necessary, their supply chains;

(2) to accelerate the delivery of the relevant Team Europe flagship initiatives agreed at the recent European Union – African Union Summit which seek to develop sustainable food production, strengthen agricultural productivity, including on protein crops, and agri-business capacity on the African continent; and

(3) to work on initiatives together with international partners to support the development of manufacturing capacity of inputs in developing countries, in particular sustainable fertilisers.

III. MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS OF UKRAINE, THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA AND GEORGIA

10. The European Council recognises the European perspective of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The future of these countries and their citizens lies within the European Union.

11. The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova.

12. The Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met.

13. The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Georgia once the priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been addressed.

14. The progress of each country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.

IV. WESTERN BALKANS

15. The European Union expresses its full and unequivocal commitment to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans and calls for the acceleration of the accession process.

16. Building on the revised methodology, the European Council invites the Commission, the High Representative and the Council to further advance the gradual integration between the European Union and the region already during the enlargement process itself in a reversible and merit-based manner.

17. The European Council recalls the importance of reforms, notably in the area of rule of law and in particular those related to the independence and functioning of the judiciary and the fight against corruption. It also calls on the partners to guarantee the rights and equal treatment of persons belonging to minorities.

18. The European Council was informed about the latest developments on discussions between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. It calls for a swift resolution of the last remaining issues so that accession negotiations can be opened without delay.

19. The European Council reaffirms the urgency of making tangible progress in resolving outstanding bilateral and regional disputes, particularly the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue on normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo*.

20. The European Council welcomes the political agreement reached on 12 June 2022 by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels which is needed for the stability and full functioning of the country and in order to respond to the aspirations of the people. It calls on all political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to swiftly implement the commitments set out in the agreement and urgently finalise the constitutional and electoral reform, which will allow the country to advance decisively on its European path, in line with the opinion of the Commission.

21. The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to that aim it invites the Commission to report without delay to the Council on implementation of the 14 key priorities set out in its opinion with special attention to those which constitute a substantial set of reforms in order for the European Council to revert to decide on the matter.

VII. EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Eastern Mediterranean

28. The European Council expressed deep concern about recent repeated actions and statements by Turkey. Turkey must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all EU Member States. Recalling its previous conclusions and the statement of 25 March 2021, the European Council expects Turkey to fully respect international law, to de-escalate tensions in the interest of regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and to promote good neighbourly relations in a sustainable way.

Belarus

29. The European Council underlines the democratic right of the Belarusian people to have new, free and fair elections. It calls on the Belarusian authorities to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law, to end repression and to release political prisoners.


* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.



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