Speech by Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the United Nations Security Council: Anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion against Ukraine, New York, 23 February 2024

Aussenministerin Baerbock reist nach New York

Sitzung des Sicherheitsrates
der Vereinten Nationen zur Wahrung des Friedens und der Sicherheit der Ukraine in New York , 24.02.2024. Annalena Baerbock (Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen), Bundesaussenministerin, reist nach New York anlaesslich des Jahrestags des Angriffs auf die Ukraine. Fotografiert im Auftrag des Auswaertigen Amtes., © Kira Hofmann/photothek.de

23.02.2024 - Speech

Madam President,

As the Representative of Russia asked why we Europeans are here today. I will tell you.

Throughout my entire life I was lucky to live in peace in Europe, like millions of my generation. The reason we are here today is because you, Russia, broke this peace in Europe.

You broke our European peace order on our common shared continent. You broke the peace for millions of Ukranians - men, children and women.
Women like Anastasiia.

A young mother who lost her lower leg when she stepped on a Russian mine. She wants to return to the front as soon as she can.

Like Oksana who is a surgeon who decided to operate on her own father when he was injured in Bucha.

Like Yuliya, a teenager girl who I met in Kyiv after she could be freed from hostage in Russia. She was pleading to me: “Don't give in to Putin.”

When I think about the ruthless war of aggression that Russia has imposed on Ukraine for two years now, I think of Anastasiia, Oksana and Yuliya – and the bravery and resilience of millions of Ukrainians who know that if they end their defence of their country, Ukraine ends.

Because they see what the brutal reality of Russian occupation means to their compatriots in the eastern Ukrainian territories: where thousands of children have been deported like Yuliya to Russia and where women and men are brutally raped, arrested, tortured.

And yet, we heard again: “We want to negotiate.”

But Putin is making it clear every day, every hour - as we have heard right now - that he does not want to negotiate peace.

He wants to complete his “conquests”. He said it over and over again.

Russia, a permanent member of this Security Council, wants a souvereign state to give up its right to exist.

Where would we end up if this principle will prevail?

Which would be the next country to be invaded by a ruthless neighbour?

Whose children next would be next to be abducted?

Whose sons to be shot?

Whose daughters to be raped?

If we were to give in, this would be the end to the Charter. Our Charter.

Therefore we will not cease our support for Ukraine.

That’s why the German Government has just signed a bilateral security agreement that offers Ukraine reliable, long-term support.

We stand with Ukraine.

With men and women like Anastasiia, Oksana and Yuliya.

Men and women who are defending their peace, our peace, our freedom and our Charter of the United Nations.

Thank you.

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