UN Human Rights Council 51st session
Follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Nordic-Baltic Intervention delivered by Denmark
30 September 2022
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal sham “referenda” in Ukraine and announced illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions. We reiterate our unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We will never recognize the so-called results and claimed consequences of the sham “referenda”. All states have an obligation under international law to not recognize the illegal annexation.
We underline that there can be no such thing as legitimate “referenda” reflecting the will of the people amidst widespread and systematic human rights violations and abuses conducted by Russia and its illegitimately appointed authorities in Ukraine. Voting at gunpoint does not constitute a referendum.
Russia’s faulted attempts at legalizing acts of aggression and human rights violations are blatantly violating the very foundations of the UN Charter. In this regard, we are deeply concerned by the atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine, with recent discovery of several mass burial sites in Izyum giving special rise to alarm.