On the Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Counsellor Marit Halsvik Lillealtern at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 17 November 2022.

Let me start by offering our condolences to Türkiye for the tragic loss of life in Istanbul last week.

Norway is aligned with the statement made by the European Union, but allow me to make a few remarks in my national capacity.

Mr. Chair,

Once again, we meet in this council with new reports of attacks against Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. Once again, we are reminded of the ruthless nature of the Russian aggression against their neighbour state. Once again, we are witnessing the unscrupulous efforts of the Russian Federation to distort truth and blame others for their own acts.

Yet, the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people remain. Yet, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting to re-establish their country’s territorial integrity. And the intensification of the Russian disinformation campaign will only contribute to making the truth more evident: The world stands with Ukraine.

Now that Kherson has been liberated, new stories about abuse, torture, arbitrary killings, and possible war crimes are surfacing. The documentation of war crimes committed in Ukraine by Russian forces continues. This documentation will form the basis when those responsible inevitably will have to answer for these crimes.

Furthermore, we are appalled by reports of forced deportations of hundreds of thousands of civilians from occupied areas, including thousands of children, many of whom are separated from their families. We are extremely concerned about reports of rapid procedures established in Russia to facilitate adoption of Ukrainian children without the consent of their parents. Ukrainians citizens must be allowed to return safely, and family links must be restored.

Mr. Chair,

Like others, we condemn Russia’s massive launch of rocket attacks across Ukraine on Tuesday this week. These attacks were yet another shameless assault on civilians and critical civilian infrastructure. As a consequence of these attacks, there was an explosion in Poland, with civilian casualties.

Let me express our deepest condolences on the tragic loss of life. Let me also be clear in that Russia bears the responsibility, as it continues its senseless war against Ukraine.

Norway reiterates its strongest condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Russian aggression is a violation of international law, including the fundamental principles of the UN charter, and the Helsinki Final Act. Intentional and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international humanitarian law and must be investigated. Let me repeat myself: Those responsible will be held to account for their crimes.

We demand that Russia halt its illegal invasion and withdraw its troops immediately. Norway will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people against this Russian aggression.

Thank you.