Statement on the Situation in and around Ukraine, including the recent non-compliance with OSCE Commitments

As delivered by Director Lars Ragnar Hansen at the Reinforced Permanent Council, Vienna, 22 February 2022

Mr. Chairman,

Norway strongly condemns the decision by the Russian President to recognise the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic of Donetsk” and “People’s Republic of Luhansk” in eastern Ukraine as independent states.

This is a clear violation of international law and fundamental OSCE principles, and also of the Minsk Agreements, under which Russia recognises the non-government-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine as part of Ukraine.

Norway urges Russia – as a party to the conflict – to fulfil its commitments, abide by international law, and return to the path of diplomacy. As all OSCE participating States, Russia has undertaken commitments to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other participating states.

Norway condemns Russia’s decision to deploy forces in eastern Ukraine. It is unjustified and irresponsible, as it further increases tension. Norway urges Russia to de-escalate by withdrawing its military forces from within Ukraine and from the vicinity of its borders.

Norway calls on Russia to act strictly in accordance with international humanitarian law.

By way of concluding, I want to reiterate Norway’s full support for the efforts of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. In the current situation, it is crucial to obtain objective and impartial information on developments on the ground. Norway calls on all parties to ensure the SMM’s free, safe, secure and unhindered access throughout all of Ukraine.

Norway’s reiterates its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Mr. Chairman, I ask that this statement be attached to the journal of the meeting.