I thank USG Di Carlo and High Representative Nakamitsu for their statements.
Two weeks ago, the Russian Federation, in blatant violation of international law, chose to wage an outright war against its peaceful neighbour Ukraine.
We reiterate our condemnation of this act of aggression.
A few days later, Russia misused its veto to prevent the Security Council from fulfilling its mandate to maintain international peace and security. And today Russia has called for a meeting based on a false narrative, insinuating that Ukraine is developing biological weapons.
This impacts the credibility of this Council.
Let us not forget the real threat to international peace and security that we are witnessing: An illegal war waged by the Russian Federation against another sovereign, UN Member State.
And we condemn the use of cluster ammunition, that was confirmed here today.
The Russian invasion was preceded by fabricated claims and unfounded allegations. It is intolerable that Russia now makes the unsubstantiated claim that Ukraine was preparing aggressive action with the use of biological weapons. Similar allegations have also emerged when it comes to chemical weapons production.
As we heard from the UN briefers: they are not aware of that Ukraine has developed, or planned to use either chemical or biological weapons.
Norway remains a staunch supporter of the Biological Weapons Convention. Which remains one of the pillars of disarmament, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - together with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention. And we condemn any use of such weapons, which would constitute a clear violation of these Conventions.
The conventions have established a total ban on chemical and biological weapons. All states parties were obliged to destroy their stocks of such weapons when they entered into these two agreements. Universal adherence and full implementation by all States Parties are key.
We would like to remind that Russia must - as a party to both conventions - uphold their international obligations just like all state parties must.
Chemical and biological weapons cannot, and must not, be used in war.
I am deeply concerned by the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. And we are appalled by the blatant lack of respect for international humanitarian law displayed by the Russian military forces.
In particular their blatant disregard for their obligation to protect the Ukrainian civilian population. Every day we see numerous reports of Russian shelling of homes, schools, hospitals, and other critical civilian infrastructure.
This is unacceptable and must stop.
The horrifying reports from this week’s attack on a medical facility in Mariupol are yet another example of the disrespect for international humanitarian law.
The space for humanitarian action must be restored, and it must be protected in a way that ensures continuous and sustained humanitarian access.
Russia must end this war now.
We need a withdrawal of all forces. And engagement in good faith towards a political solution. Diplomatic solutions must prevail.