Statement on behalf of NATO Allies and the Invitee Sweden

As delivered by the delegation of Luxembourg at the 30th Meeting of the Ministerial Council, Skopje, 1 December 2023.

Mr. Chairperson,

This statement is delivered on behalf of NATO Allies and the Invitee Sweden.

Peace in the OSCE area has been shattered. Russia's illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which we condemn in the strongest terms, gravely undermines the Euro-Atlantic security order. It is a blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter and contravenes OSCE principles and commitments, such as those contained in the Helsinki Final Act.

We reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with Ukraine. We will never recognise Russia’s attempted illegal and illegitimate annexations, including of Crimea. We fully support Ukraine’s rights to self-defence and to choose its own security arrangements. Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We remain steadfast in stepping up political and practical support to Ukraine for as long as it takes. We welcome other OSCE participating States supporting Ukraine.

There can be no impunity for Russia’s abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, such as the forced deportation of children. We furthermore condemn attacks on energy infrastructure, especially during winter. Russia’s war has also profoundly harmed the environment, nuclear safety, global energy and food security. We are working to ensure Ukrainian grain exports continue and actively support international efforts to alleviate the global food crisis.

We urge all countries not to provide any kind of assistance to Russia’s aggression. Belarus’s support has been instrumental as it continues to provide its territory and infrastructure to enable Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. Belarus must end its complicity with Russia and return to compliance with international law. We condemn Russia’s announced deployment of nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable systems in Belarus.

Russia is the most significant and direct threat to our peace, security and stability. It seeks to establish spheres of influence and direct control through coercion, subversion, disinformation, aggression and illegal attempted annexations. Russia’s military build-up, including in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Sea regions and the High North, along with its military integration with Belarus, challenges our security. Russia's posture, intensified hybrid actions, including through proxies, and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, as well as its use of force to pursue its political goals, undermine the rules-based international order.

We do not seek confrontation and we pose no threat to Russia. Russia must halt its aggressive behaviour and fully comply with international law. We remain willing to keep open channels of communication with Moscow to manage and mitigate risks, prevent escalation and increase transparency, including at the OSCE. We will significantly strengthen deterrence and defence, enhance our resilience and remain committed to supporting our partners to counter malign influence and aggression.

Russia has instigated conflicts in the OSCE area and inhibited efforts to resolve them. We call on Russia to end its occupation of Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and withdraw all its forces and materiel stationed in Georgia and the Republic of Moldova without their consent. We firmly support their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within their internationally recognized borders.

Russia continues to demonstrate disregard for arms control. We condemn Russia’s withdrawal from the landmark Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. As a consequence, Allied States Parties intend to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary. We remain united in our commitment to effective conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security. This complements the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture that Allies have decided to further strengthen.

Russia must immediately stop its war of aggression, and completely and unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine. We are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace that upholds the UN Charter’s principles, and therefore welcome President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula.

In light of the unprecedented challenges the Organisation faces, we reiterate the key importance of the OSCE as a unique forum for dialogue and advancing comprehensive security. We will continue to support the OSCE’s work across all three dimensions of security, and advocate for its effective and unimpeded functioning, including the independent institutions and field missions.

The participating States subscribing to this statement request its inclusion in the Journal of this ministerial meeting.