The war will end most easily if Putin withdraws the army, Borel says

Joseph Borrell
Joseph Borrell / Photo: EPA-EFE / FREDERICK FLORIN / POOL

The Head of European Diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, said today that the easiest way to end the war and the suffering it causes is the Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to withdraw his troops and stop the attack on Ukraine, but that all those who tried to negotiate with him "returned empty-handed".

The EU's top official wrote in a blog on the website of the European External Action Service that "Europeans will always remain open to anyone who is serious about seeking a negotiated solution" and that this is a key point he will continue to insist on.

"What Russia calls a special military operation is nothing less than a full-scale invasion of a sovereign country. Russia kills Ukrainian civilians, destroys homes, hospitals and power plants. "What is happening in Ukraine is a clear violation of the UN Charter and the rules-based international order," he wrote.

Borrell added that he traveled to the southern African region last week to take part in the EU-South Africa ministerial dialogue and held bilateral meetings in South Africa and Botswana, but that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was high on the agenda.

"South Africa appeared to agree with Russia's views when its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, visited the country repeating lies that the war was a defense against Russophobic and fascist Ukraine and that Europe and its partners were pushing for a military solution, blocking diplomatic efforts. ", he said.

Borrell added that Russia's war is as much a threat to Europe as it is to Africa and others, although it is happening on European soil, it affects the whole world causing a food crisis affecting millions of people and that Lavrov's visit is part of Russia's efforts to avoid international isolation and expand its influence in Africa.

"The EU is not asking South Africa or any of our partners to simply pick a side between Russia and the West." What we ask of South Africa and all countries is to stand by the principles and values ​​of the UN Charter and international law," Borrell wrote.

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