The joint statement by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden was delivered by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Mr Edgars Rinkēvičs.
I am speaking on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Latvia. I thank the Secretary-General for his briefing, and the Presidency of Malta for the opportunity to address the Security Council.
A year has passed since Russia started its brutal, unjustified and unprovoked full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine, aided by Belarus. It is a clear violation of international law and the United Nations Charter. We admire the bravery and persistence of Ukrainians in the fight for their freedom and independence. We pay respect to all Ukrainian people who have died defending their homeland.
Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine has trampled international norms and rules-based order. Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is seeking to change the borders of a neighbouring sovereign country by military force. This constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security.
We will never accept Russia’s illegal annexations of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts. We call on the Russian Federation to abide by the ICJ order on provisional measures of March 16, 2022 to immediately suspend its military operations that commenced on 24 February 2022 in Ukraine.
Russia cynically disregards its obligations as a permanent member and hampers the Security Council’s ability to implement its mandate.
Russia started this war. Russia can and must end it immediately by withdrawing its troops from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine. To make it happen, we must provide all necessary means to Ukraine. Under the UN Charter, Ukraine has an inherent right of self-defence. The Nordic - Baltic States are determined to enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities and to provide all necessary support.
Unable to defeat Ukraine in the battlefield, Russia terrorizes Ukraine’s civilian population. Mass killings, rapes and torture in Bucha and Izium, and illegal deportation of children are only some of the most horrifying atrocity crimes of the Russian armed forces.
We condemn in the strongest terms deliberate attacks by Russia against civilians, critical infrastructure and civilian objects in Ukraine. To alleviate the suffering and facilitate reconstruction, we provide economic, political, humanitarian, financial and legal assistance to Ukraine and its people.
Russia must and will be held accountable for its crimes. We support the work of the International Criminal Court to investigate atrocity crimes. In addition, the crime of aggression must be addressed to bring to justice the Russian political and military leadership who masterminded and unleashed this war of aggression against Ukraine. We believe that the UN should play a meaningful role in securing broad international support for the establishment of a tribunal for the prosecution of the crime of aggression.
Russia uses disinformation and propaganda to mobilize domestic and international support for its aggression against Ukraine. It is extremely worrying that Russia uses food and energy as instruments in its warfare. It causes suffering for the most vulnerable nations and people globally.
Russia is cynically covering it up by false narratives and disinformation, including by dishonestly blaming sanctions. It is Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine that has aggravated an already existing food security crisis and augmented the rise in energy prices.
We support the Black Sea Grain Initiative and urge Russia to extend it, and stop delaying the work of inspection teams.
Yesterday, the General Assembly once again reconfirmed international support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We urge the UN Security Council to uphold the UN Charter, which forms the basis for just and lasting peace in Ukraine.
We welcome President Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula. We strongly support his vision for peace that rests on international law and the principles of the UN Charter.
We will stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary.