Right of Reply to the Russian Federation

Delivered by Minister Counsellor Henrik Malvik at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 24 March 2022

Mr. Chairman,

It is always in internal struggle whether one should demean oneself to reply to the Russian statement. It is quite bizarre to listen to our distinguished Russian colleague complaining about the breach of OSCE rules of procedure, when the country he is representing currently is in breach of almost every single international principle and commitment it has signed up to.

In his statement, our distinguished Russian Colleague called for a discussion based on facts. He asked for balance, that we speak to each other, that we have a dialogue. Well distinguished Russian colleague, we find that a bit difficult when all we are exposed to is a Russian Lie-alogue, (making a mockery of this very council).

The Russian lie-factory keeps churning. Every day. As we speak. There is obviously a desperate need to create an excuse for the ongoing invasion, war, military aggression, armed aggression, full scale war. Let us call the Russian aggression against Ukraine by its right name.

The truth is that nothing happened to legitimize an armed aggressive invasion like Russia is now conducting against Ukraine. The so-called genocide against Russian-speakers in Ukraine never happened. The continued labelling of Ukraine’s democratically elected leadership as “neo-Nazis” is simply ludicrous. And, biological and chemical weapons are not developed in Ukraine. I could continue, reiterating the Russian lies, but out of respect to my distinguished colleagues in this room and online I will stop here.

In short: This war should never have taken place. It constitutes a violation of the prohibition on the use of force in the UN Charter. It is an illegal and illegitimate war.

If Russia cared about war crimes, civilian losses and the overall humanitarian situation in Ukraine, it would stop the war and withdraw its troops, and it would stop bombing, homes, hospitals and schools throughout Ukraine.

Again, I would urge the Russian colleagues to stop the false accusations and abhorrent lies.