Statement on the Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 7 September 2023.

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

[Norway has aligned with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. I would, however, like to make a few remarks in my national capacity.]

Mr. Chair,

Let me join others in expressing - and again - my sincere condolences to Ukraine in light of the last Russian attacks. 

A new iron curtain has descended and created a sharp divide between those of us who support Ukraine's legitimate defense struggle - and the Russian Federation. 

International law is our frontline. Our security, our prosperity, our freedom are founded on a rule-based world. That relations between states follow the rule of law, not the law of power. This goes to the core of the OSCE principles, as laid out in the Helsinki Final Act.

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has visited Ukraine more than ten times. Last week they published an extensive Conference Room Paper which provides a detailed account of the basis for the Commission's findings. 

The Paper presents a select number of cases and describes patterns of a wide range of violations committed by the Russian armed forces. These violations include intentional killings, unlawful imprisonment, torture, rape and other sexual violence, unlawful transfers and deportations of protected individuals and children.

I am pleased to acknowledge the diligent efforts undertaken by Ukrainian authorities in their response to the formidable challenges associated with investigating and prosecuting conflict-related crimes. I take this opportunity to once again urge the Russian authorities to do everything in their power to prevent war crimes from happening, and ensure that all perpetrators are held accountable. 

Mr. Chair,

The OSCE can play a role in the further work on accountability for war crimes. Whereas our organization lacks the legally binding tools, it has a lot of other tools. For instance, ODIHRs monitoring of the human rights situation is very valuable. The organization is also well placed to assist Ukraine in the enormous task of giving justice and console to all the victims of this war. 

Being optimistic in today's situation is not easy, but we must never give up hope that people can improve, that the war must end, and that small and large countries can live in peace.

Let me once again reiterate Norway's support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters. A peaceful solution must be based on Ukrainian terms: nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine.

Russia can end this war.

Thank you.