Statement on the Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the 1465th Permanent Council, Vienna, 14 March 2024

Dear Madame Chair, 

Norway echoes the condemnation Russia's illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified war of aggression. This act represents a clear breach of the Helsinki Final Act and international law, including the United Nations Charter.  

The continued air strikes by Russia destroying civilian locations and essential infrastructure within Ukraine are deplorable and must cease immediately.  

The Russian war of aggression profoundly affects millions of women and girls, significantly increasing their exposure to gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and abuse. The frequent reports of systematic conflict related sexual violence, including rape, are deeply troubling. Additionally, Russia’s warfare devastates their livelihoods and escalates poverty rates. Attacks on civilians and civilian structures further substantiate allegations of war crimes, as highlighted by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine. 

As a consequence of Russia’s war, Ukraine’s women also find themselves on the front line. They support their family, community and country by taking part in the military defense, providing humanitarian assistance, contributing to recovery and reconstruction, and as journalists, media workers, civil society representatives and human rights defenders. Their resilience throughout has been enduring and remarkable. They will remain key to peace and security in Ukraine – now and in the future.  

Imminently, Russia plans to conduct 'elections' also in the territories of Ukraine it currently occupies. Russia possesses no lawful grounds to undertake any such activities on Ukrainian territory. It would violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitute a serious breach of the principles and rules of international law.  We firmly denounce and reject Russia's illegitimate attempts to annex Crimea, Sevastopol, and parts of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions. 

We also note with concern that the Russian Federation plans open polling stations in Transnistria for the Russian presidential election, in violation of the norms and principles of international law. We call on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova.  

Norway remains dedicated to supporting Ukraine's Peace Formula, actively participating in efforts to forge a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, shaped by and for Ukraine, reinforcing our commitment to uphold the principles of sovereignty and international law. 

I thank you.