Tuesday

23rd Jul 2019

Ukraine says Russian invasion has begun

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has said Russian forces have invaded his country, with Kiev calling for an emergency EU and UN meeting.

Ditching a planned trip to Turkey on Thursday (26 August), Poroshenko in a TV address in the rain in front of his jet said that: “I have made a decision to cancel my working visit … due to a sharp aggravation of the situation in the Donetsk region [in east Ukraine], particularly in Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops have actually been introduced into Ukraine”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Poroshenko: 'Russian troops have actually been introduced into Ukraine' (Photo: president.gov.ua)

He noted that he will convene a special meeting of Ukraine's security council, the NSDC.

He also called for snap talks by the UN Security Council, noting: “The world must provide an assessment of the sharp aggravation of the situation”.

Ukraine’s prime minister, Aresniy Yatsenyuk, in a separate TV statement, said: “It’s quite difficult for us to fight with Russia and its army. We urge the EU and the US to freeze all Russian assets until Russia pulls back its forces”.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU, Konstantin Yeliseyev, noted in a communique that EU leaders at their summit on Saturday in Brussels should devote a special session to Ukraine, adding: “Solidarity … should materialise in further resolute significant sanctions [against Russia] and large-scale military and technical assistance to Ukraine”.

Russian forces already invaded Ukraine when Russia seized Crimea in March.

The EU and the US imposed economic sanctions on Russia over Crimea and over its supply of weapons and irregular fighters to pro-Russia rebels in east Ukraine over the past five months.

But Kiev, Washington, and some EU capitals said on Thursday that Russia crossed a new line when its soldiers overtly took part in attacks against government forces in south-east Ukraine.

“We consider this as a real invasion,” a Ukrainian diplomat told EUobserver.

A diplomat from one eastern European EU country said: “Now there is a direct Russian military invasion, so the EU should react accordingly. The possibility of further sanctions will be discussed”.

Edgars Rinkevics, the foreign minister of Latvia, tweeted: “UN must react accordingly, this is war”.

For its part, the EU foreign service has said foreign ministers will hold talks on Ukraine at an informal meeting in Milan this weekend.

An EU diplomat noted that Poroshenko is due in Brussels on Saturday morning to meet with EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso in the margins of an EU summit devoted to filling the bloc’s top posts.

He added that EU leaders will discuss Ukraine on Saturday evening and that Poroshenko may be invited to join them depending how events unfold.

Meanwhile, Van Rompuy in his invitation letter to EU leaders said the second half of the summit will be in the presence of foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to "discuss a number of pressing international issues."

In a separate move, the commission also on Thursday said it will pay EU producers of butter, skimmed milk powder, and selected cheeses to put excess stock into cold storage over the next three to seven months.

The decision comes after Russia imposed a ban on EU food imports earlier this month in retaliation at EU measures against its banks and energy firms.

The commission also said member states are due in October to file reports on how they would cope if Russia cuts off supplies of gas to EU customers via Ukraine in the coming winter.

Russia relaxes EU food ban, counts costs

Russia has said its ban on EU food imports will cost it “hundreds of billions of rubles”, while taking several items off the blacklist.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson is next British prime minister
  2. Johnson set to be announced British PM on Tuesday
  3. UK-based owners of .eu domains could keep name
  4. Weyand: EU would respond to US tariffs on cars
  5. UK foreign office minister quits ahead of Johnson as PM
  6. AKK to boost Bundeswehr budget to Nato target
  7. Police arrest 25 after Polish LGBT-march attack
  8. Ukrainian president's party tops parliament election

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Macron: 14 EU states agree on a migration 'mechanism'
  2. As Johnson set to become PM, ministers pledge to resign
  3. Poland's PiS prepares 'failsafe' for October election
  4. Abortion Wars
  5. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  6. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  7. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  8. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us