National Statement at the resumed Emergency Special Session on Ukraine
National Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Jan Knutsson, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, at the Resumed Eleventh Emergency Special Session on Ukraine, New York, 22 February 2023.
I deliver this statement in my national capacity. Sweden aligns itself with the statements to be delivered by Denmark on behalf of the Nordic Countries, and the statement of the European Union.
Mr President, Excellencies,
There are moments in history which have a before and an after. The 24th of February 2022 is one of them.
Today, we mark one year of Russia’s brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Today, we pay respect to those suffering the consequences of the war, and those bravely fighting for their, and our, freedom.
And today, and every day, in this room and around the world, we stand united for Ukraine.
The Russian aggression is not only a war against Ukraine.
It challenges the European – and global – security order.
It is a flagrant violation of one of the most basic rules of international law and the UN Charter.
And it is committed by a permanent member of the Security Council.
This General Assembly has in the strongest terms deplored the Russian aggression and repeatedly demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and reaffirmed the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, it has defended the UN Charter.
Today, we must - again - reiterate the loud and clear message to uphold these rules, principles, and values – including by adopting the draft resolution tabled. It is in all our interest.
During the first half of 2023, Sweden holds the EU Presidency.
No other task is more important to us than strong and continued support for Ukraine, and mounting pressure on Russia.
Since Russia's full-scale invasion, Sweden’s support to Ukraine has increased with 1,2 billion euro in financial, humanitarian, and military support. EU has contributed with 50 billion euro.
We will support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people against Russia's ongoing war of aggression for as long as it takes.
Accountability for the crimes committed as part of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine must be ensured. And it will be.
We continue to condemn Russia’s violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The summary executions, the torture, the sexual and gender-based violence, and the forced deportations are only a few examples of Russia’s unacceptable violations of international law.
All crimes must be investigated. And those responsible must be brought to justice.
This is crucial for redress and justice - both for Ukraine as a country and for the victims and survivors.
President Putin bears the primary responsibility for Russia's violations of international law. Russian decision-makers also bear individual criminal responsibility for the aggression against Ukraine.
Impunity is not an option for Russia’s blatant violation of the UN Charter.
Ukraine and its people are paying the highest price for the Russian invasion.
But the consequences are striking far beyond Ukraine and far beyond Europe. Russia’s aggression affects the most vulnerable the hardest, adding to already severe hardships brought about by climate change and the pandemic.
Sweden, and the rest of the EU, is working together to mitigate these global effects of the Russian aggression on food security, energy, finance, the environment, and nuclear safety and security.
We stand ready to listen, to engage and to continue providing support, as we have done consistently and significantly. We remain committed partners, including to making progress on the SDG:s and addressing climate change.
So today, we gather in this Assembly to express our solid international commitment to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, based on the principles of the UN Charter.
Russia must immediately and completely cease military operations, unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence within its internationally recognised borders.
Russia can end this war. Russia must end this war. And it must do it now.