Germany aligns itself fully with the Statement delivered by the European Union. I am grateful for the opportunity today to deliver some remarks in my national capacity.
At the outset, I would like to thank USG Griffiths for his sobering description of the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s massive airstrikes, often in densely populated areas, are causing indescribable human suffering. They do not only destroy critical civilian infrastructure; they kill innocent men and women, boys and girls and leave others without heating, electricity and water. These facts have also been corroborated by the UN Commission of Inquiry. It is clear that perpetrators of such crimes must and will be held accountable as soon as possible.
We stand steadfast behind Ukraine, and we will continue our financial, humanitarian, diplomatic and military support to Ukraine for as long as it is needed. Since the beginning of the war, we have welcomed more than one million Ukrainian refugees in Germany. They join the two million refugees from other countries already residing in Germany. And we have provided more than 12.5 billion EUR in bilateral support to Ukraine’s government and its people.
One of our primary concerns in Ukraine is humanitarian access, especially into its temporarily occupied territories. We thank the UN, including OCHA, for their tireless efforts to coordinate work to provide aid in newly liberated areas and areas close to the frontline.
Another issue that worries us deeply are reports about the forcible deportations of children into Russian territories. There are serious reasons to believe that the Russian Federation infringes upon its international human rights obligations and international humanitarian law. This must stop – now.
As we all know, the people of Ukraine are not the only victims of this war. The repercussions of Russia’s illegal invasion of its neighboring country are felt around the globe. In this context, we welcome and financially support Ukraine’s “Grain from Ukraine” Initiative to supply grain to those countries most in need. We also call on Russia to stop delaying the ship inspections as agreed in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. In this vein, it is vital that this Initiative be continued and broadened beyond its deadline in March so that crucial supplies can reach world markets – and the most vulnerable ones among us in particular.
We once again call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease all its hostilities and unconditionally, completely and immediately withdraw all of its forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders in order to find a diplomatic solution. Sadly enough, this needless war might hit the upcoming one-year mark. It has been ongoing for too long already, and Russia must end it – now!