The European Union condemned the lethal crackdown on nonviolent protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran's morality police.
In a statement, the EU urges Iran to "strictly abide by the principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party."
The EU further condemned Iran's decision to restrict internet access and block instant messaging platforms "as it blatantly violates freedom of expression."
At a summit in Brussels, European Union leaders agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by the end of the year as part of new sanctions on Russia. The embargo covers Russian oil delivered by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for oil imports via pipeline.
In a press conference, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said the move will effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year. "This comes at a time," she added, "when we see that Russia has disrupted supplies to, by now, five Member States. You know them: Finland, Bulgaria, and Poland; but now also to a company in the Netherlands and to a company in Denmark. So our answer has to be very clear on how we are going to...get rid of the dependency on Russian fossil fuels."
The United States and its European allies are condemning Russia for cyber attacks against Ukraine that began in January, a month before the invasion, and have continued since.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Ukraine has experienced numerous disruptive cyber attacks, including "website defacements, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and cyber attacks to delete data from computers belonging to government and private entities — all part of the Russian playbook."
The European Union confirmed that Russia was behind a cyber attack that targeted Ukraine's satellite network an hour before the invasion, causing "significant impact causing indiscriminate communication outages and disruptions across several public authorities, businesses and users in Ukraine, as well as affecting several EU Member States."
In a speech to the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen formally proposed a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022. She indicated the ban would apply to all imports, including “sea-borne and pipeline, crude and refined," as part of the sixth package of sanctions from the EU.
When the European Parliament last met, she said, "We started with coal. Now we are addressing our dependency on Russian oil. Let us be clear: it will not be easy. Some Member States are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it. We now propose a ban on Russian oil."
Ursula von der LeyenOilUkraineEuropean UnionRussiaSanctions
President Biden reiterated his earlier claim that he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin to be a war criminal. "You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal," he told the press after arriving at the White House on Marine One. "Well, the truth of the matter — you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants him — he is a war criminal."
Simultaneously, the European Union put out a statement condemning Russian atrocities committed in Bucha and other liberated Ukrainian towns. "The Russian authorities are responsible for these atrocities committed while they had effective control of the area," the statement reads. "They are subject to the international law of occupation...The perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violations as well as the responsible government officials and military leaders will be held accountable."
According to the UN's refugee office, more than 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion began. More than half of them have crossed into Poland, followed by Romania and Moldova. The UN further estimates that a "large number" of those refugees have continued on to other European countries as they are allowed to move freely within the Schengen zone of the European Union with few border controls.
The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia visited Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "The purpose of the visit," said a statement from the Polish government, "is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union will enact a series of measures to bolster Ukraine's defenses against Russian aggression. For the first time in its history, the EU will "finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack." In addition, the EU will close its airspace to Russian planes, "Including the private jets of oligarchs," and it will ban the Kremlin’s disinformation apparatus in the EU, including the state-owned media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik. Finally, said von der Leyen, the EU will "target the other aggressor in this war, Lukashenko’s regime, with a new package of sanctions."
In a joint statement, the European Union, U.S. and other Western countries announced they will commit to five measures in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The measures are: cutting off selected Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system, imposing restrictions on Russia’s Central Bank, limiting the sale of golden passports that allow wealthy Russians to become citizens of Western countries and exploit their financial systems, launching a trans-Atlantic task force to track down the assets of sanctioned Russians, and stepping up coordination against Russian disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.
SWIFTVladimir PutinSanctionsUkraineRussiaEuropean UnionUnited States
The European Union agreed to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in response to the military aggression carried out by Russian against Ukraine. The EU Council further decided on a package of individual and economic measures covering Belarus. Together they represent "the strongest possible restrictive measures," according to a statement from the EU.
European UnionSanctionsUkraineRussiaVladimir Putin
In a statement, the European Union reiterated that it "does not recognise and continues to condemn [Russia's] illegal annexation of Crimea as a violation of international law." Though the annexation occurred eight years ago, the EU "remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The European Union announced it is extending its sanctions of Russia to include all 351 members of the Russian State Duma "who voted on 15 February in favour of the appeal to President Putin to recognise the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk 'republics'." Further, the EU will impose targeted measures on 27 additional individuals and entities, bringing the total number of sanctions to 607.
At the Munich Security Conference, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO and the European Union for "direct, honest" answers regarding the entry of Ukraine, according to Kyiv-based news agency Interfax-Ukraine. "Eight years ago, Ukrainians made their choice, many gave their lives for it," he said. "Is it really possible that eight years after that, Ukraine should constantly call for recognition of the European prospect?"
Poland has begun construction on a $394 million border wall in an effort to stop migrants from entering the European Union across the country's border with Belarus, according to The Associated Press. The wall will be 18 feet high, run 115 miles and be topped with barbed wire.
BelarusBorder WallMigrantsRefugeesPolandEuropean Union
The European Union announced "a binding acceptance period of 9 months (precisely 270 days) of vaccination certificates for the purposes of intra-EU travel." The new restrictions are meant to ensure that travel will remain safe and based on objective, science based criteria.
A European Commission spokesperson said, "upon arrival they are being pushed to the border and forced to make an illegal entry into the European Union," as migrants arrive on the Belarus-Polish border.
Reportedly Lithuania and Latvia have also seems a surge in the numbers of migrants attempting to enter their country via Belarus.
The Sudanese ""ruling military" have relieved Sudan's ambassadors to the U.S., the E.U., China, Qatar, France, and their head of their mission in Geneva. It is understood that these have happened because those counties and organizations rejected the military regime's legitimacy.
The Biden Administration is hosting representative from over 30 countries and the European Union to create a cyber defense policy, specifically against ransomware. Topics of discussion will include addressing "the misuse of virtual currency to launder ransom payments," countries' "respective efforts to disrupt and prosecute ransomware criminals, and diplomacy as a tool to counter ransomware."