Norway is aligned with the statement made by the European Union, but allow me to make a few remarks in my national capacity.
President Putin’s statements regarding partial mobilisation and references to nuclear weapons are a further reckless escalation of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. We fear it will lead to further conflict, destruction, and loss of life. Not least to the loss of more Russian conscripts, forced to take part in a war they don’t want. Norway condemns this development in the strongest possible way.
The true nature of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is revealed time and time again. Unspeakable horrors have been revealed in Bucha and other places previously occupied by Russian forces. Now we have disturbing reports from Izyum where a mass burial site has been found and evidence of torture is being gathered.
Norway condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and all human rights violations and abuses. All possible war crimes and other atrocities must be investigated, and those responsible brought to justice.
Accountability is key. Both to ensure justice for the victims, and to deter future violations. Perpetrators must be held to account, through national or international, criminal justice mechanisms.
Norway fully supports all those helping to gather evidence and to investigate any acts that may amount to war crimes and other serious crimes. We underline our support for the crucial work of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, established by the Human Rights Council, and the work being carried out by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.
We condemn the mock legal proceedings launched in Luhansk against two national mission members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. It is simply nonsensical and completely unacceptable that the illegal de facto Supreme Court of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic sentenced Dmitry Shabanov and Maxim Petrov to 13 years in prison after finding them guilty of high treason and working for the U.S. intelligence services. We call for their unconditional and immediate release, along with the third SMM colleague still in detention.
We want to reiterate our concern about nuclear safety because of Russia’s reckless and brutal warfare. A nuclear accident in Ukraine could have far-reaching consequences. The presence of Russian forces at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant severely compromises nuclear safety and security. We commend the IAEA for its efforts in helping to stabilize the situation. However, Russian recklessness seems boundless as we hear about the missile that struck only 300 meters from the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant on Monday.
It is unacceptable that nuclear facilities become a dangerous frontline in the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. Russia must immediately withdraw its military forces in and around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and all other Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
Considering recent news from Moscow, I am compelled to underscore that the planned sham referenda in the so-called “People’s Republics” Donetsk and Luhansk will be contrary to international law and have no legal effect. They will in no way affect Ukraine’s sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders.
Let me end by again reiterating that Norway condemns Russia’s war choice in the strongest terms possible. The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders