Statement NB8 Interactive Dialogue on the situation of human rights in Ukraine Council resolution 47/22 (15.12.21)

Interactive Dialogue on the situation of human rights in Ukraine (Council resolution 47/22)

December 15, 2021

Nordic – Baltic Statement

Delivered by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries. We thank the Deputy High Commissioner for the latest update.

We remain deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in non-government controlled areas in eastern Ukraine and in illegally annexed Crimea. We are also deeply concerned by the increasingly hostile rhetoric and the military build-up by Russia along the Ukrainian border.

In eastern Ukraine, the escalation of violence has recently resulted in a significant increase in civilian casualties. We are concerned that human rights violations and abuses in eastern Ukraine continue: arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts of torture and ill-treatment and unjustified restrictions of the rights to freedom of expression and of assembly.

We condemn violations of human rights, fundamental freedoms and civic space in Crimea, in particular, the repression of media, forced conferral of citizenship and unlawful detentions carried out by Russia.

We remain deeply worried of the continuing persecution, arbitrary arrest and detention and fair trial violations by the Russian Federation against Crimean Tatars. We call for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned persons in Crimea.

We call on Russia to allow unhindered access of international organisations and human rights actors to the areas currently not under the control of Ukraine, including Crimea.

Our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders is firm. We urge full implementation of the Minsk agreements and underline Russia’s key responsibility in this regard.

We call upon Russia to adhere to its international commitments and obligations, including under international human rights and international humanitarian law.

We have taken due note of the High Commissioner’s calls to ensure civic space. The protection of journalists and human rights defenders, as well as freedom of the media, must be ensured everywhere and at all times.

Madame Deputy High Commissioner, what needs to be done to ensure unrestricted access for international monitoring organisations to illegally annexed Crimea and to non-government controlled areas in eastern Ukraine?

Thank you.