Item 4 -  Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine. NB8 Lithuania. (25.09.2023)

UN Human Rights Council, 54th session

Item 4 -  Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine

Statement of the Republic of Lithuania, on behalf of Nordic-Baltic countries delivered by the by Minister for Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Gabrielius Landsbergis

25 September 2023

Thank you, Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Lithuania.

For nineteen months Russian armed forces continue to indiscriminately and deliberately kill, torture, commit acts of sexual and gender-based violence against Ukrainian civilians and destroy vital infrastructure in clear violation of international humanitarian law.

Furthermore, the Russian authorities’ unlawful deportation and transfer of children from Ukraine to Russia, occupied territories, and Belarus, and their illegal adoption there, may constitute war crimes. We condemn these practices in the strongest possible terms. The ICC’s decision to issue arrest warrants for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children and that of unlawful transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia is an important step towards accountability. We must ensure the safe return of Ukrainian children and accountability of the perpetrators.

There must be no impunity for Russia’s violations of international law. The investigations must continue until full accountability and justice are ensured. Therefore, we strongly support the work of this Commission of Inquiry.

We also support the Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine established under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Russia must pay for the damages caused by its war.

Mr. Erik Møse, after your last visit to Ukraine, how could efforts be strengthened to ensure justice for all victims, including comprehensive reparations programs?

I thank you.