EU and Japanese leaders on Thursday introduced a united entrance towards Russia’s struggle on Ukraine in addition to countering China’s problem to the world order.
Of their first joint journey to Asia, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, the presidents of the European Council and European Fee, skipped the EU’s largest buying and selling associate within the area China and opted as an alternative to go to Japan, showcasing what Brussels sees as a uncommon instance of partnership amongst like-minded democracies within the Indo-Pacific.
In a press convention, von der Leyen famous that Russia now’s “essentially the most direct menace to the world order” with its “barbaric struggle towards Ukraine. And its worrying pact with China and their name for ‘new’ — and really a lot arbitrary — worldwide relations.”
Stressing that Japan was among the many first international locations to divert pure fuel to the EU after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, von der Leyen thanked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the “admirable” choice, including: “We won’t overlook it.”
In a joint assertion, Japan and the EU warned that “Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked navy aggression towards unbiased and sovereign Ukraine grossly violates worldwide legislation and the rules of the UN Constitution and undermines European and world safety and stability.”
Amid Beijing’s deepening ties with Moscow, the EU leaders have been eager to painting Japan as their one true associate within the Indo-Pacific, as reported by POLITICO’s Brussels Playbook. Japan is without doubt one of the few Asian international locations that joined the West in imposing sanctions on Russia, with the Kremlin responding by personally sanctioning Kishida.
“Japan is a part of the core group of nations which have imposed robust sanctions on Russia,” von der Leyen stated. “Just like the European Union, Japan understands what’s at stake right here. Not simply Ukraine’s future. Not simply Europe’s future. However the way forward for a rules-based world order. This makes it all of the extra important for like-minded companions just like the EU and Japan to strengthen their relations. That’s the reason we’re right here immediately. And we have now taken some necessary steps ahead.”
Von der Leyen and Michel’s go to is the most recent in a sequence of leaders’ journeys to Japan and India, in an try to sway each international locations away from Russia’s sphere of affect. Final week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his first journey to Asia since his appointment and skipped China, heading as an alternative to Japan. On the finish of April, von der Leyen traveled to New Delhi for a two-day go to, assembly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to debate commerce, local weather and digital expertise.
David M. Herszenhorn contributed reporting.