National Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Mr Tobias Billström, held at the 1412th (Reinforced) meeting of the Permanent Council on 24 February 2023.
Sweden fully aligns with the statement by the European Union and would like to add some remarks in our national capacity.
The 24th of February 2022 is a dark day in European history.
One year on, Russia’s senseless war in Ukraine is still ongoing.
Russia’s aggression has no limits. Soldiers, as well as civilians - elderly and children alike - all fall victim to their gruesome warfare. Likewise, the destruction of infrastructure is bottomless.
This is not only a war against Ukraine. This is a war on European security, on democracy and our values.
This barbarism must stop.
Russia’s actions are in flagrant violation of International law, and of the core rules, principles and commitments on which European security is built - the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris.
It is essential that the international community continues to stand up for the rules-based world order - for every nation’s right to independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Ukraine is showing a remarkable resilience. The stamina of the Ukrainian people and its Armed Forces against Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression is a true inspiration.
Ukraine is in its full right to restore its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Over the past year, the EU, its Member States and a wide range of European and international partners have worked steadfast side by side with partners to support Ukraine in achieving this.
Sweden’s support to Ukraine amounts to 1,2 billion Euro – in humanitarian, financial, civilian, legal, and military support. Not since the Second World War has Sweden supported a country at war with weapons.
To do so was historic - and it was necessary.
Accountability for the crimes committed as part of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine must be ensured.
And it will be.
The OSCE and its accountability tools through ODIHR and the Moscow Mechanism make important contributions to this end.
We continue to call out Russia’s violations of International Humanitarian Law. The summary executions, the torture, the sexual violence, and the forced deportations. 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.
This is why Sweden supports the initiative of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression in Ukraine.
To my Ukrainian colleague – let me assure you that we will continue to provide support to help you win this war, assist you rebuilding your country, get justice for the immense harm caused by Russia’s aggression, and help you ensure a thriving future for Ukraine.
And we will do all in our power to ensure your rightful future as a member of the European Union.