Baltic states condemn Russia, EU sanctions on 23 Russian officials


On Thursday the heads of the Baltic states’ foreign ministries strongly condemned Russia’s actions against Ukraine on Thursday and called for Moscow to be disconnected from the SWIFT system. Lithuania is moving its embassy from Kyiv to a more secure location and calling on its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately by land.

LIVE: Russian invasion of Ukraine

Early in the morning, Russian forces entered the Ukrainian soil and begun the invasion of the country. Follow the live updates of the situation in...

see more

Baltic states condemn Russia

We, the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, strongly condemn Russia’s widespread aggression against an independent, peaceful and democratic Ukraine,” the statement stressed.

It points out that “Russia’s actions are unacceptable and grossly violate international law and norms, which is a crime against the Ukrainian people.”

“We must (...) impose the strongest sanctions on Russia, including separating it from SWIFT, and apply political isolation,” the statement reads.

Lithuania is moving its embassy from Kiev to a more secure location, Asta Skaisgirytė, an adviser to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, said on Thursday. If the situation worsens, the diplomatic post from Ukraine will be moved to Lithuania.

Moreover, Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry called on its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately by land routes.

EU to impose new package of sanctions against Russia

Furthermore, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel released a joint statement on Thursday announcing that another package of sanctions against Russia was being prepared.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine. By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability,” Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel wrote, calling on Russia to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw troops from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

“Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century (...) The EU stands firmly on the side of Ukraine and its people,” they declared.

The EC chief and European Council president also announced that EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday will discuss further sanctions against Russia, which will cause “massive and severe consequences on Russia for its action”.

Moreover, the officials emphasised that “The EU will provide further political, financial and humanitarian assistance.

The heads of the EC and European Council are also coordinating their response with “international partners, including NATO and G7 whose leaders will meet today.”