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Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod condemns Russian military aggression against Ukraine at reinforced OSCE meeting

Statement as delivered by H.E. Jeppe Kofod, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, at the 1358th (Reinforced) Meeting of the Permanent Council on 24 February 2022
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Mr. Chair,

I fully align myself with the statement delivered by the European Union. Allow me, however, to add a few remarks in my national capacity.

Today, we mark one of the darkest days in European history since the end of World War II.

I condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine and the involvement of Belarus in these actions. By its unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law, breaching OSCE commitments and undermining European and global security.

This will not go unanswered.

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine not only puts the lives of millions at further severe risk. Russia’s decision is also a severe blow to diplomacy. Multiple years of efforts within the OSCE, the Normandy format, the Trilateral Contact Group and elsewhere are deliberately undone for no justifiable reason.

Since the beginning of Russia’s military build-up, Denmark has called on Russia to de-escalate and to pursue diplomacy. Together with our partners and Allies, we have put forward proposals. And we have shown our readiness to listen to Russia’s concerns.

We deeply regret that Russia has chosen military action over diplomacy, and aggression over peace. Let me be clear: Russia bears the full responsibility for the human suffering we are now witnessing. And it must have major consequences.

We also recognize the deep impact Russia’s military actions against Ukraine will have on the OSCE and its activities in Ukraine. We remain a strong supporter of the Special Monitoring Mission, and urge Russia to ensure their safety and security.

We call on Russia to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw its military from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.

Denmark stands firmly by Ukraine and its people as they face this unparalleled crisis. We will continue to support and assist Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, politically, financially and in humanitarian terms.

And we fully support the efforts of Polish Chairman-in-Office to engage OSCE formats and tools even in this dire situation.

Let me conclude by saying: Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!

I kindly request that this statement will be attached to the journal of the day.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.