February 24 2023: Russia's unprovoked and unjustified full-scale invasion and war in Ukraine one year later…
February 24, 2023 - One year ago today, Russia initiated a full-scale aggression against Ukraine. Ukraine was attacked because it wanted to decide about its future by itself, not by diktat from Moscow, which considers Ukraine and many countries in its neighbourhood in the context of its "sphere of interest". According to the UN Charter, as a victim of aggression, Ukraine has the inherent right to defend itself.
However, this is not just a war on Ukraine, a sovereign country. By violently grabbing and trying to annex parts of the territory of its sovereign neighbour, Russia is violating fundamental values and principles of international law as well – an unprecedented act in this modern era. Therefore, concerned that the behaviour and actions of Russia constitute a potential threat to all countries of the international community, we the undersigned firmly agree that the UN Charter must be protected and upheld.
One year of full-scale invasion has wreaked untold carnage and destruction on Ukraine and its people. The Russian authorities and media still ridicule this conflict and call it a "special military operation" to protect the Russian-speaking populations in Ukraine, instead of a war. Human victims number in the tens of thousands, if not more, millions have had to leave their homes before death, torture or forced deportation to Russia and there has already been hundreds of billions in untold damage to Ukrainian infrastructure. All of this has been inflicted on a population that Russia claims to be defending from their own authorities in Kyiv, and that dared to imagine a future differently from Moscow's selfish neo-colonial interests. It is up to the international community to ensure that Ukraine prevails against Russia and that those responsible for war crimes, and their accomplices, will be held to account in accordance with international law.
After one year of this unjustified, unprovoked full-scale war, no part of the globe has been spared its ill effects. The already fragile global economy, still reeling from supply chain disruptions because of the pandemic, has been set back even further, with the weakest and most vulnerable countries affected the most. The Caribbean, like so many other parts of the world, has felt the economic shockwaves of the invasion of Ukraine: food insecurity, inflation, disruption of supply chains in key markets (food, energy, fertilizers), for which Russia is responsible.
However, one year of full-scale war has also demonstrated the importance of partnership and solidarity, if we are to end this crisis. Coordination between international partners is closer than ever in all areas. From the very beginning, when an overwhelming majority of the international community came together at the United Nations to condemn the aggression, the resolve of many countries remains unchanged. Latin American and the Caribbean support for Ukraine has made a difference at the multilateral level. Six United Nations General Assembly resolutions have confirmed the international condemnation and isolation of Russia. The International community needs Latin America and the Caribbean to continue standing at the side of the Ukrainian people, for democracy and peace.
We understand the global responsibility of the international community to try to mitigate the consequences of this war to the best of their abilities, especially for the most vulnerable states and their populations. The EU has therefore installed so-called ‘Solidarity Lanes’ over land for agricultural produce from Ukraine, which can now not be exported from the seaports blocked by the Russian occupiers. In addition, the undersigned states have politically and financially supported the Black Sea Grain Initiative by Secretary-General Guterres of the UN, as well as grain donations by Ukraine in the framework of the Grain from Ukraine initiative. All of these initiatives have helped considerably to stabilize world food prices.
Our unity with international partners has been unwavering and we are taking unprecedented actions together - from sanctions to diplomatic isolation of Putin and his regime, to our support for Ukraine. We have already imposed carefully targeted sanctions costing billions on Russia’s leadership, undermining Russia’s ability to fund the illegal war, while avoiding unintended consequences for innocent parties. We have provided billions more in military, humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine. Overall, there are more than 40 countries sanctioning Russia, representing over 50% of the world’s GDP. Together we are sending a clear signal that we will not tolerate an attack on the territorial integrity of a sovereign country and that the rules based international order must remain. For as long as the war continues, we are determined to sustain our support.
After one year of full-scale invasion, we recognize and admire the resilience, courage and determination of the Ukrainian people. Therefore, we pledge here and now to Ukraine that we will continue to stand by you in the fight, as long as it takes, to preserve your right to independence, territorial integrity and for your basic human right to live in peace and security.
The Delegation of the European Union
The Federal Republic of Germany
The Kingdom of Spain
The French Republic
The Kingdom of the Netherlands
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland