Norway has aligned itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. In my national capacity, though, I would like to make the following remarks:
Let my start by thanking Mr. Lukashuk, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council, for adressing this Council today. Your testimony about the suffering the military aggression inflicts to you and your citzens is important, in order for us to understand what is really at stake.
Ten months have passed since Russia’s aggressive invasion. Ten months during which almost all participating states have raised their concerns in this very council on a weekly basis. Ten months with open war raging in Europe. I once again reiterate our call to Russia to come to its senses. To respect its international obligations and commitments, and withdraw all troops.
We are particularly alarmed by the continuous Russian attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The massive waves of missile and drone strikes on Ukraine clearly demonstrates Russia’s complete disregard for the horrible suffering they are causing millions of people.
In addition to causing casualties, these cynical attacks have destroyed many power facilities, leaving Ukraine’s population freezing in the middle of winter.
Children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly are in a particularly vulnerable situation. They must be protected.
Last week ODIHR released its Second Interim Report on reported violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in Ukraine. The report underscores Russian forces’ general disregard for these same commitments.
We echo ODIHRs call on the Russian Federation to immediately stop launching indiscriminate attacks and to abide by the principle of distinction in order to avoid further civilian death, injury, and damage to civilian objects.
We commend Ukraine for its readiness to cooperate with ODIHR in its monitoring efforts, and encourage Ukrainian authorities to follow up on the important recommendations made by ODIHR.
Norway will continue to stand with Ukraine, and our substantial military, humanitarian and financial support will continue.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to international law, and Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Norway does not, and will not, recognise any illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.