A few days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed ‘Ukraine is one of us and we want them in the European Union’ during an interview with Euronews on Sunday, 27 February.
More than 5,000 people gathered in front of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU in Brussels on Saturday, 26th of February, to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. People remained there for part of the afternoon as they were singing Ukrainian songs, giving speeches. They were shouting “Protect our sky!” or “NATO act now” together, hoping that their message would pass through the Avenue des Arts and reach the doors of the Russian representation.
In an extraordinary summit in the evening of Thursday 24 February, EU leaders met to discuss what Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called a ‘package of massive and targeted sanctions’. Earlier that day, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba pleaded to ban Russia from the European payment system SWIFT. In the end, the ban did not happen.
While Estonia is celebrating its Independence Day, many fear an escalation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While usually the day is celebrated with a parade, a speech by the president and a lot of potato salad and vodka, this time young people in the Baltic country are jokingly saying: ‘happy last Independence Day’.
While Russian convoys of military trucks and armed vehicles are crossing the border into the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, groups in the European Parliament are calling for the EU to act as soon as possible. Many condemn Putin’s actions and are calling for new sanctions.
During a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers the council condemned what they call ‘Russia’s continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine’. The Council of the EU calls for Russia to de-escalate the situation and abide by international law.