Statement of the Federal Republic of Germany
Briefing of the UN Security Council on Ukraine on 5 May 2022
Held by Ambassador Antje Leendertse
Thank you Madame President,
I thank the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary General Griffiths, High Commissioner Bachelet and Ms. Luzan for their insightful briefings.
Further, I want to thank the Secretary General and all UN staff for their tireless efforts to minimize the human suffering in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Germany strongly supports these efforts. We were relieved about the successful evacuation operation from Mariupol. The people remaining trapped need to be safely evacuated as soon as possible – to the destination they want to go to.
In a few days, the world will commemorate the day when the Second World War unleashed by Nazi Germany ended. 77 years after this watershed moment of world history, Russian propaganda tries to create an outrageous link between the truly heroic fighting of the Red Army, including many Ukrainian fighter, then against the Nazi regime and the Kremlin’s current aggression against Ukraine. This apparently aims at creating a completely alternate reality, in which Ukraine’s president leads a failed state that needs to be “de-nazified”. This utter nonsense is beyond cynicism.
The whole world can see what so-called Russian “liberation” looks like. The pictures from Mariupol, from Irpin and Bucha speak for themselves. These mass atrocities and crimes against humanity have to stop! The perpetrators must be held accountable in accordance with international law. To this aim, Germany will contribute to the International Criminal Court with additional funding and secondment of experts. Meanwhile, the German Federal Public Prosecutor General has opened structural investigations, preparing the ground for indictments on charges of war crimes.
Even if Russia again tries hard in tomorrow’s Arria formula meeting to impose its narratives on the world outside, it will not succeed in altering reality. Rapes, torture and killings will be brought to the fore, the ones responsible will be brought to justice – one by one.
Millions of people are fleeing from attacks, from bombing and shelling. Germany has so far recorded more than 600,000 refugee arrivals; and over 90,000 Ukrainian children are attending at least temporarily German schools. It is children that suffer the most from Russia’s war of aggression. Their schools are being destroyed, these kids’ peaceful lives have been disrupted, many had to leave their families behind. All they want is to go home and return to their beloved ones. In this connection, reports about the Russian parliament planning to ease rules for the adoption of Ukrainian children are extremely concerning. We will follow this ideologically motivated motion with extreme scrutiny and hold Russia accountable for its deeds. UN agencies as well should play an active role in this regard.
The war in Ukraine has dramatic consequences on humanitarian crises in other parts of the world and on global food security. Russia ravages agricultural potential in Ukraine while at the same time preventing grain exports by blocking the Black Sea – and absurdly tries to blame Western sanctions for increasing food prices. Currently, an estimated 4.5 million tonnes are stuck in Ukrainian ports, and the Ukrainian representative in this meeting has reported that Russia has stolen tons of grain from Ukraine. With the expected delays of the next planting season and shortages of seeds, we are standing on the brink of an unprecedented global food security crisis. Germany is strengthening its humanitarian response, especially through WFP. We are also committed to putting global food security high on the agenda, among others in the up-coming meetings of G7 foreign, development and agricultural ministers. The German government has also already announced 430 million euros in additional funding for the crisis response outside Ukraine. This is additional to the means we have been able to pledge for Ukraine including in the Warsaw conference. My message to the countries economically affected by the repercussions of Russia’s war of aggression is: You can count on our support.
The food security crisis proves that the war transcends the borders of Europe. A permanent member of this Council is trying to annex new lands by force. If we allow Russia to set a precedent – who will be next? Which former empire will feel encouraged to attack its weaker neighbour, justifying this by a distorted notion of history? If we do not want to open flood gates for re-colonization, the world must stand united in rolling back Russia.
We once again call on Russia to stop its aggression immediately. Russian troops encounter fierce resistance – not only from the brave Ukrainian military, but from a huge block of States that stand up for the UN Charter and the rule of law. Continuing the senseless war will only lead to more bloodshed and it is never too late to change course. Russia must withdraw its troops – now and for good. The upcoming day of liberation that we all commemorate will provide an excellent opportunity.