Josep Borrell: EU Should Boycott Putin's "Inauguration"

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.07 - 2024 10:54 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons /
Photo: Wiki Commons /
Borrell advised EU countries to ignore Putin's "inauguration".

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EU High Representative Josep Borrell has urged EU countries not to attend the "inauguration" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to Putin's condemnation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and his role in the Ukraine conflict.

Speaking in Brussels before the EU Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Borrell emphasized the contradiction between attending the event and the EU's stance on the legitimacy of Putin's election.

A Clear Stance

"Putin is indicted by the International Criminal Court. We discussed with member countries whether to attend, and at what level—ambassadors, chargé d'affaires... But for me, the position was very clear," Borrell said.

He noted that attending the inauguration could send mixed signals since Putin is responsible for the war in Ukraine and the elections were neither free nor fair.

"How can we then attend the inauguration? This would clearly contradict our principles," Borrell explained.

"It would be very difficult for Ukraine and for many people around the world to understand," he added, emphasizing the importance of the EU maintaining a consistent and principled stance.

"My advice to member countries was not to attend. I hope that many, if not most, will heed this advice. However, member states have full sovereignty over their decision to attend or not. I hope most will choose not to go. That would be the correct decision," Borrell continued.

As reported, Putin's "inauguration" is scheduled for today, May 7.

Several countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states, have already announced that they will not send representatives to the event.

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