Joint Statement by EU Commission President von der Leyen and U.S. President Biden:
“We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who are bravely defending their homeland, and we call on Russia to end the brutal onslaught against its neighbor. We are united in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we are united in our resolve to defend our shared values, including democracy, respect for human rights, global peace and stability, and the rules-based international order.
Today, we are continuing coordinated transatlantic efforts to support the Ukrainian people, impose severe costs on Russia for its unjustifiable actions, and strengthen the resilience of our democracies, economies, and societies. In particular,
- The United States and the European Union have strengthened and aligned their sanctions regimes, together with like-minded partners across the world. Additionally, efforts should be stepped up to coordinate responses against sanctions evasion.
- We continue to mobilize and coordinate significant humanitarian relief to support people within Ukraine, those who have been forced to flee, and those affected by the severe impacts Russia’s war is causing around the world. This includes more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance the United States is prepared to provide and €550 million from the EU.
- The United States and the European Union are coordinating closely to ensure that their efforts on temporary protection and humanitarian admission, including resettlement or transfers, are complementary and provide much-needed support to Ukraine’s neighbors.
- We are announcing new actions to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
- The United States and the European Union are supporting the work of war crimes documentation experts who are gathering evidence on the ground in Ukraine.
- We are taking further, concrete steps in our energy cooperation to ensure the security of supply and to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
- In order to prevent a potential food crisis triggered by price hikes and disruptions to food supply sparked by Putin’s war in Ukraine, we intend to redouble our combined efforts to increase global food security and provide direct food aid, where warranted, to our partners worldwide.
- We will advance our cooperation on cybersecurity through a variety of actions, from supporting the Government of Ukraine on cyber resilience and cyber defense to aiming to combat the abuse of virtual currency.
Joint readout by the European Council and the United States
24 March 2022, 21:56
Today, the European Council was joined by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States.
The leaders discussed the coordinated and united response of the European Union and the United States to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression in Ukraine.
They reviewed their ongoing efforts to impose economic costs on Russia and Belarus, as well as their readiness to adopt additional measures and to stop any attempts to circumvent sanctions.
Leaders discussed the urgent needs caused by Russia’s aggression, committed to continuing providing humanitarian assistance, including to neighboring countries hosting refugees, and underscored the need for Russia to guarantee humanitarian access to those affected by or fleeing the violence.
Leaders welcomed the opening of international investigations, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and ongoing efforts to gather evidence of atrocities.
In addition, leaders discussed EU-U.S. cooperation to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, accelerate the transition to clean energy, as well as the need to respond to evolving food security needs worldwide.
The leaders also concurred on the importance of strengthening democratic resilience in Ukraine, Moldova, and the wider Eastern partnership region.
Finally, leaders underscored the importance of enhancing transatlantic security and defence, including through robust NATO-EU cooperation as described in the EU’s Strategic Compass.
ANNEX – TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION AND SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
Imposing Additional Costs on Russia
The United States and the European Union have strengthened and aligned their sanctions regimes, together with our like-minded partners across the world. Today, the United States is sanctioning more than 400 additional individuals and entities to align with measures taken by the EU and our allies and partners. This includes the Duma (Russia’s lower house of parliament) and 328 of its members, dozens of defense companies that fuel Putin’s war machine and sustain its military industrial base, and more than 20 financial elites, including the head of Russia’s largest financial institution. The Commission, in line with its competences, will continue to support further similar measures. Together, we should aim at holding accountable those responsible for the devastation and commit to imposing further costs on Russia until Putin ceases his aggression.
The United States and the European Union are jointly working to blunt Russia’s ability to deploy its remaining international reserves, including gold, to prop up its economy and fund its illegal war.
Additionally, as announced in today’s G7 leaders’ statement, we are establishing an initiative to monitor the full implementation of our sanctions measures and coordinate responses against sanctions evasion. This will ensure that Russia will not be able to backfill or find workarounds that undermine the effect of our sanctions.
Providing Humanitarian Assistance to the Ukrainian People
We reaffirm our deep support for the Ukrainian people, who are suffering from Russia’s devastating bombing of civilians and civilian infrastructure. We urge Russia to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and permanent safe passage for civilians. We continue to mobilize humanitarian relief to support people within Ukraine and those who have been forced to flee. The United States and the European Union are responding to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine and in countries impacted by the situation in Ukraine. The United States and the European Commission are coordinating closely on the provision of aid, including a through a newly-established high-level dialogue and a U.S. government liaison in the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Today, the United States is announcing it is prepared to provide more than $1 billion in new funding toward humanitarian assistance for those affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its severe impacts around the world over the coming months. The European Commission has made available EUR 550 million in emergency and humanitarian assistance and, through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism in cooperation with its partners, it has delivered almost EUR 300 million worth of in-kind assistance.
Welcoming Ukrainians Fleeing Violence
The European Union has generously welcomed almost three and a half million Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s violence, providing them food, shelter, school, and employment opportunities, paying particular attention to the plight of children and providing them protection for the time they need. The United States and the European Union are coordinating closely to ensure that their efforts on temporary protection and humanitarian admission, including resettlement, are complementary and provide much-needed support to Ukraine’s neighbors. Today, the United States is announcing plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s aggression through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Partnering to Promote Democratic Resilience and Human Rights
We steadfastly support the democratic aspirations and fundamental freedoms of the Ukrainian people. Today, we are announcing new commitments to bolster societal resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries, including Moldova.
To support human rights defenders, anti-corruption watchdogs, journalists, and other members of civil society operating in and around Ukraine, the United States is launching the European Democratic Resilience Initiative (EDRI), which will provide at least $320 million in new funding to these groups and regional governments. The EDRI will support media freedom and counter disinformation, benefit the safety and security of activists and vulnerable groups, strengthen institutions and the region’s rule of law, and help ensure accountability for human rights abuses and violations of international law. And it will expand rapid response capabilities and technical assistance to build resilience to Moscow’s strategic corruption and kleptocracy.
The European Commission announced plans to reallocate funds from EU programmes to support civil society organizations, human rights defenders, journalists, and pro-democracy activists in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. In addition, the European Endowment for Democracy, with EU funding contributions, provided a significant number of emergency grants to contribute to saving and sustaining civic activism and media pluralism in Ukraine. It also opened a Centre for Ukrainian Activists (CUA) in Przemyśl, Poland, to provide support for activists and independent journalists in maintaining and sustaining their connections to their activities inside Ukraine.
There should be accountability for any war crimes committed in Ukraine. The United States and the European Union are supporting the important work of war crimes documentation experts who are gathering evidence on the ground in Ukraine. The coordination of documentation and evidence preservation efforts to ensure such accountability should be facilitated.
Supporting Europe’s Energy Security
We reconfirm our commitment to Europe’s energy security and to accelerating the global transition to clean energy. Energy security and sustainability for the EU and Ukraine are essential for peace, freedom and democracy in Europe. The EU has confirmed its objective to reach independence from Russian gas well before the end of the decade while working to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy supplies to citizens and businesses in the EU and its neighbourhood. The United States intends to partner with the EU on these efforts. We understand that the rapid transition to clean energy is essential to advancing EU independence from Russian fossil fuels and are committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, the objective of net zero emissions by 2050, and keeping a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit on temperature rise within reach. In line with this vision, the European Commission and United States will establish a joint Task Force to address the immediate energy security needs of the EU and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Securing Global Food Supplies
We are deeply concerned by how Putin’s war in Ukraine has caused major disruptions to international food and agriculture supply chains and the threat it poses to global food security. We recognize that many countries around the world have relied on imported food staples and fertilizer inputs from Ukraine and Russia, with Putin’s aggression disrupting that trade. As the United States and EU comprise many of the world’s major agricultural producers and strong economies, we commit to redoubling our combined efforts to provide direct food aid and other forms of assistance, where warranted, and, to continue the necessary support for agricultural innovation and sustainable productivity growth to ensure global food security, while balancing enhancing climate resilience and reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
We are committed to working with partners to address the attendant supply challenges and maintaining strong, ruled-based, and open global markets for staple agricultural commodities that feed the world. Specifically, the United States, through Feed the Future and our nutrition commitments, is providing over $11 billion over the next five years to address food security threats and nutrition across the globe. Additionally, the United States will remain one of the top providers of humanitarian food and nutrition assistance globally, having contributed approximately $4.6 billion in humanitarian food and nutrition assistance in 2021. We are also identifying tools in the U.S. government’s existing food security tool kit and determining whether programs are fit for purpose for this situation and will make strategic adjustments as needed.
For the period 2021 – 2024, the EU is pledging at least EUR 2,5 billion for international cooperation related to nutrition. This international cooperation programme will support food systems in about 70 partner countries. The proposed EU Emergency Support Programme for Ukraine of EUR 330 million will secure access to basic goods and services for the Ukrainian population and also support Ukraine’s agricultural sector.
Ensuring the Security of Cyberspace
We are committed to advancing our cybersecurity cooperation, both in response to Russia’s illegal further invasion of Ukraine and in support of our longer-term strategic objectives. Together, we will enhance our efforts to coordinate cybersecurity assistance and provide Internet access to the Governments of Ukraine and Moldova, working with Member States and other likeminded partners. In the context of Ukraine and more generally, we will continue to reinforce responsible state behavior in cyberspace and to work together to increase cyber resilience in the face of destructive, disruptive, and destabilizing cyber activity by both States and non-State actors, while also working to hold accountable those responsible for such activity.
We will work towards establishing more structured cybersecurity information exchanges on threats and threat actors and deepen our cooperation on new cybersecurity technologies and standards. We are committed to our partnership in the Counter Ransomware Initiative to disrupt ransomware groups and reduce related threats to our citizens and businesses. We will enhance efforts to address the abuse of virtual currency; bolster cybersecurity resilience; increase partner capacity for detecting and responding to ransomware activity within their own borders; and work to jointly hold accountable states that act as safe havens for ransomware activity.
Combatting Illicit Use of Digital Assets
We intend to announce deeper collaboration to combat the illicit use of digital assets, including their potential misuse in evading multilateral sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. Together, we intend to deepen our shared commitment to advance anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for digital assets, consistent with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.
We will share best practices and coordinate capacity building efforts to help other countries implement AML/CFT frameworks for digital assets. We intend to form a transatlantic sprint between U.S. and EU government officials and, as appropriate, digital asset service providers, to expedite and increase sharing of financial intelligence on illicit use of digital assets. Finally, we will seek opportunities for joint actions against those who facilitate the misuse of digital assets for illicit activity.”
The statement is available online in English, German, French and Ukrainian.