Statement on the Russian Federation's ongoing Aggression against Ukraine

As delivered by Minister Counsellor Knut-Are Okstad at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 18 April 2024

Madame Chair,

This week, the gravity of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine was vividly underscored during the visit of Norway’s Foreign Minister to Kyiv and Odesa. The destructive impact of Russia's actions reflects a strategy not merely to dominate but to obliterate. The devastation of Odesa’s Black Sea Port, a crucial hub for food exports critical to addressing global food insecurity, marks a severe blow to Ukraine and the world.

Despite ongoing hostilities, Ukraine has courageously managed to counteract Russia’s blockade and has even established new maritime routes, thanks to international support including from Norway. Our collaboration with the UK in forming a maritime coalition underlines our commitment to keeping these vital channels open.

The deliberate targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, including the recent destruction of the Trypilska power plant—a facility rebuilt last year with Norwegian support—demonstrates a clear pattern. Norway remains steadfast in its commitment to aid Ukraine, mobilizing substantial resources to restore its energy facilities, which are essential not just for military defense but for civilian survival.

As Russia’s aggression persists, causing daily increases in damages now estimated at nearly $500 billion, the need for a compensation mechanism becomes ever more critical. Norway applauds the launch of the Council of Europe’s Register of Damage, viewing it as a step toward justice for Ukraine.

Norway reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and pledges continued assistance for as long as needed to achieve a just and lasting peace.