We thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo for her briefing.
Only four days after our last meeting, this Council meets again to discuss the situation in Ukraine. On Thursday, we had consensus in the Security Council that the Minsk Agreements, which this Council unanimously endorsed by its resolution 2202 (2015), need to be implemented, including by the Russian Federation.
Today we are confronted with the very opposite from Russia: President Putin´s decision to recognize the separatist, self-declared “people’s republics” in Eastern Ukraine is not only a blatant breach of Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015), but also of basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter. It is another flagrant and deliberate violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, after the illegal annexation of Crimea and the instigation and fuelling of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine since 2014. Russia has repeatedly insisted it was no party to the conflict. Today it unmasks itself and shows that it always has been.
My government condemns Russia’s violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. With our allies and partners, we will take firm and adequate measures in response to Russia’s breach of international law that will have serious economic, political and geostrategic consequences. And I call on all UN member states to join us in condemning Russia’s actions of today. Today’s decision comes in the context of an unprecedented build-up of Russian forces around Ukraine over the last weeks and months. These forces seem poised to attack. We have seen a flare-up along the line of contact over the last days and efforts that appear to fabricate a pretext for a Russian attack. Moreover, Russia has declared its readiness to deploy troops in Eastern Ukraine.
The UN Charter is crystal clear: It unequivocally prohibits the threat of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of states. The current Russian force deployment around Ukraine can only be considered as a further threat against Ukraine’s territorial Integrity as a whole.
I call on Russia to live up to its obligations as a permanent member of this Council:
- I urge Russia to immediately revoke today’s decisions and re-commit to the Minsk Agreements in line with what the N4 political advisors last agreed on.
- Russia must ensure that its forces will not cross the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine;
- Moreover, Russia must immediately withdraw its troops from the regions bordering with Ukraine in Russia and Belarus.
- I call on Russia to re-commit to the rules-based security architecture in Europe, which has been built over decades. Russia’s decisions have put this order under serious strain.
We call upon Russia to return to the path of diplomacy instead of shedding further blood.
Germany will spare no diplomatic effort in this regard, while steadfastly standing by Ukraine, its territorial integrity and sovereignty and the Ukrainian people.