Statement in response to Russia´s Detention of OSCE Officials as Part of its War of Aggression Against Ukraine

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 21 September 2023.

Mr Chair, 

Norway urgently calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Vadym Golda, Maxim Petrov, and Dmytro Shabanov—three Ukrainian OSCE officials who have been detained in Donetsk and Luhansk for over 500 days. We also applaud all efforts by the Chair and the Secretary General to solve this issue

It’s crucial for the international community to recognize that individuals working under an international mandate, such as OSCE officials, should never face arrest or detention for fulfilling their responsibilities. Their work is vital for global peace and cooperation, and their protection is paramount.

Let me at this outset also point out that Russia's actions in forcibly transferring and deporting Ukrainian children and other vulnerable people are grave violations of international humanitarian law. We condemn in the strongest terms unlawful deportations to both Russia and Belarus, as well as unlawful detentions.

Thank you