Kathmandu: Ambassadors of EU and three other EU member states based in Kathmandu have called for end to Russian aggression Ukraine. In a joint-oped, Nona Deprez, Head of Delegation of European Union to Nepal, Gilles Bourbao, French ambassador to Nepal, Riina-Riikka Heikka, Finnish ambassador to Nepal and Thomas Prinz, German ambassador to Nepal on, have said that Ukraine is the victim of an illegal and unprovoked aggression by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which is bound by the UN Charter. “These attacks are blatant violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.”
24 February marks one year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, its peaceful neighbour. This is a brutal war, which has brought immense suffering and destruction upon Ukraine and its people.
Ukraine is the victim of an illegal and unprovoked aggression by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which is bound by the UN Charter.
For the past year, Russia has been shelling Ukraine’s cities on a daily basis.
These attacks are blatant violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Moreover, in 1994, Russia committed itself to guarantee Ukraine’s security, when it joined the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum) and yet Russia is brandishing the threat of nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
On 9 February, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the European Union reiterated their resolute condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a manifest violation of the UN Charter.
On 23 February, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution urging Russia to stop this atrocious war immediately.
Russia continues its deadly and indiscriminate strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure. Such international crimes must stop. International humanitarian law, including on the treatment of prisoners of war, must be respected. Ukrainians who have been forcibly transferred to Russia, in particular children, must be immediately allowed to return safely.
The European Union stands ready to support Ukraine’s initiative for a just peace based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Alas, to date, Russia has not shown any genuine willingness regarding a fair and sustainable peace.
Russia is also waging a war of misinformation.
For example, Russia claims it is conducting a special military operation to “de-nazify” Ukraine which is backed by the “anti-Russian” powers. There are no “anti-Russian” powers, only UN members determined to defend a rules-based international order and the principles of the UN Charter.
Moreover, as recently recognised by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine started in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, already in 2014.
Russia is also accusing the European Union of targeting fertilisers through its sanctions regime, when in fact, Russia itself is restricting the volume of its exports of fertilizers, so as to artificially increase their price. The transfer of Russian fertilizers to third countries through European ports is still permitted and EU Member States are working closely with UN agencies to facilitate their transfer to third countries.
Also contrary to Russian allegations, it is not action by the International Community that is affecting food security but Russian action. The EU is supporting the Black Sea Grain Initiative as well as the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative, that facilitates the export of Ukrainian grains to third countries in need. We support the extension and full implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The prolongation of this agreement beyond March 2023 is crucial to stabilize prices and allow the continuous flow of grains, including for humanitarian purposes. It is important that Russia fully commits to its implementation, and scales up the necessary inspections, instead of blocking them.
The EU remains the world’s biggest provider of food and development assistance. Together with our Member States, we have increased our financial support to address the global food crisis, providing around 18 billion EUR this year.
As President Putin escalates this illegal aggression, weaponizing winter, food and hunger, the European Union will continue to support the Ukraine with all its resolve and all its might, until Ukraine is liberated from its aggressor.