Joint Statement on the Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 14 December 2023

The Nordic Countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden align themselves with this statement.

Mr Chair,

This week, we have witnessed another series of Russian missile attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, causing widespread distress and damage, striking homes, hospitals, and power grids.

Despite President Putin's failure in his illegal and aggressive war, his response has been to escalate brutality.

We are also seriously troubled by the announcement from the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation regarding its plans to organize elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Any such elections would not only violate Ukraine’s Constitution and other Ukrainian legislation, but also contravene international law, norms, and principles, including the UN Charter. Any so-called electoral processes conducted in these occupied territories will be invalid and without legal standing, and Norway will never recognize them.

Mr Chair,

The five Nordic countries are strong supporters of President Zelenskyy’s initiative for a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace. Yesterday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre hosted a Nordic-Ukrainian summit in Oslo. The Prime Ministers of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden, along with the President of Finland, pledged continued strong support to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Since Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion in February 2022, the combined value of Nordic support amounts to approximately 11 billion euros. The Nordic countries will continue to provide extensive military, economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine, individually and collectively, as well as in the framework of international formats and platforms.

Lasting peace in Ukraine is impossible if the aggressor succeeds, or if oppression and autocracy prevail over freedom and democracy.

Mr Chair,

In this context, Norway continues to provide military aid to Ukraine, aiming to enable Ukraine to establish conditions for a lasting and equitable peace. As recently announced, Norway, alongside the UK, will lead a new Maritime Capability Coalition to help Ukraine transform its navy. This initiative aims to make the Ukrainian navy more compatible with Western allies and more interoperable with NATO, and to bolster security in the Black Sea.

We also engage actively in Ukraine Peace Formula, President Zelenskyy’s initiative for a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace, based on the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in line with the UN Charter. We encourage all Participating States to do the same.

Mr Chair,

Russia’s war of choice and its attack on fundamental principles of international law underscores the importance of our unity in defending our values and freedoms. While Ukraine is continuing its battle against Russia’s illegal aggression, other partners are facing Russian pressure, intimidation, and aggression.

In fact, the isolation of Russia and Belarus is in this context particularly accentuated and demonstrated every Thursday - here in the Neuer Saal at the Permanent Council of the OSCE.

We remain committed to addressing the atrocities, aggression and violations of international law perpetrated by Russia and to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Let me also seize the opportunity to thank Ambassador Tsymbaliuk for the cooperation in the OSCE. I would just align myself with what was just said by Canada and wish you well.

I thank you.