Let me start by expressing Norway’s strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. This includes the Crimean Peninsula and its territorial waters.
Norway is deeply concerned about the Russian large-scale military build-up near Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea. This is unprovoked and unjustified. Further escalation can have devastating humanitarian consequences.
Through its harsh statements and unrealistic demands, Russia now challenges the security architecture in all of Europe. The crisis therefore not only affects the region but represents a clear threat to international peace and security.
Russia has repeatedly accused NATO of increasing tensions. I would like to underline that the alliance is defensive and voluntary. We do not seek confrontation. At the same time, we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which the security in Europe rests. We stand ready to discuss security concerns.
Norway supports a European security order based on international law and national sovereignty. We cannot allow this to be replaced by spheres of influence. Every country has the right to freely choose its security alignment.
We call on Russia to de-escalate and to engage constructively in dialogue through the established international mechanisms in good faith. Furthermore, Norway underlines its support for the existing international frameworks for the sustainable and peaceful resolution of conflict in accordance with international law.
Russia itself has repeatedly invoked in many other Council discussions the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Norway calls on Russia to now respect these principles when it comes to Ukraine.