Statement on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 15 April 2021.

Madame Chair,

The sharp increases in the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine recently is driven mainly by the armed formations, which the Russian Federation continues to supply with weapons, equipment and personnel. Together with the significant increases in Russian military deployments in and around Ukraine, this strongly contributes to destabilising the situation, increasing the dangers of a further escalation of the conflict.

The latest troop movements on the Russian side of its border with Ukraine, is, by the Russian Federation, not interpreted as relevant to the Vienna Document. Norway does not share this interpretation. Therefore, we were glad to see Russia’s participation in yesterday’s meeting under the Vienna document chapter III article 16. However, questions and concerns about unusual military activities raised by Ukraine under the same chapter remain to be answered. In the spirit of the Vienna Document, we encourage the Russian Federation to do so and to return to the negotiating table and in good faith seek a peaceful solution, starting by a renewed commitment to the ceasefire.

In a situation of increased tension, the SMM’s presence and reporting is particularly important. We urge all parties to provide the SMM unhindered access in accordance with its mandate and to stop the unacceptable obstruction of the use of UAVs.

For further details on Norway’s position on this issue, I refer to the statement given in yesterday’s meeting of the PC and the FSC under the Vienna Document.

Let me conclude by reaffirming Norway’s full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

Thank you.