Baltic statement at UNSC briefing on Ukraine

UN Security Council Briefing on Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine

Statement by Estonia on behalf of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

9 July 2024, New York


I have the honor to speak on behalf Latvia, Lithuania and my own country, Estonia. We also align ourselves with the statement of the European Union.

Beginning this week we witnessed yet another Russia’s – now in the seat of President and permanent Security Council member – horrendous attack against Ukraine, more than 50 objects particularly targeting civilians, killing more than 30, including children, and wounding over 150 civilians and destroying Kyiv’s largest children’s hospital. This is yet another act of terror, perpetrated by the terrorist state that is constantly in violation of UN Charter, international law and contrary to the principles of the UN membership. The attack is proof that the list of war criminals, which already includes Putin and his fellow criminals, needs urgent additions.

We join in the strong condemnation issued by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN humanitarian coordinator Denise Brown in reaction to Russian armed forces attacks this Monday, stating that the incident was particularly shocking and it is unconscionable that children are killed and injured in this war. Nearly 2000 children in Ukraine have been killed or injured since Russia’s war of aggression. These are figures the UN have been able to verify, but the true number is much higher.

This is happening despite UNGA Resolution on “Principles of the UN Charter underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine”, that was adopted in February 2023 with a majority of 141 votes, that calls for an immediate cessation of the attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine and any deliberate attacks on civilian objects, including those that are residential areas, schools and hospitals. Unfortunately, Russian understanding of peace and it´s so called “peace plan” foresee that it is necessary to kill as many children and civilians as possible to sow terror and fear, because, as Russia´s failed adventure of conquering Kharkiv showed, Russian deflated regular army simply cannot take on Ukraine.

Also, despite the International Court’s of Justice binding order for provisional measures from March 2022, directing Russia to immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine. The International Criminal Court has issued 6 arrest warrants to top Russian officials and we should seek further responsibility.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are reiterating our call on international community to not tolerate Russia’s war tactics which include attacking schools, residential buildings and hospitals, killing and maiming of children. The Secretary-General has rightly listed Russia for the 2nd year in a row in the annexes of the Secretary General’s annual Children and Armed Conflicts report as a party committing grave violations against children. Russia has not signed the joint action plan with the UN to end and prevent grave violations against children.

The political and military leadership of Russia, but also its accomplice Belarus must be held accountable for the war crimes and other serious international crimes committed in Ukraine, including the crime of aggression for which we seek establishment of Special Tribunal.

We call on international community to extend full support to the efforts of the UN agencies and partners in responding to humanitarian needs of Ukraine. As outlined in the Annual Recovery Results Report by the UN humanitarian coordinator, by December 2023, the United Nations and humanitarian partners had reached 11 million people in need.  Furthermore, in 2023, the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund the world’s largest Country-Based Pooled Fund (CBPF), under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, allocated $181 million across three allocations.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia reiterate their full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We call on Russia to abide by the rules of UN Charter and international law and immediately stop its war of aggression and systemic attacks on civilians in Ukraine. Russia must unconditionally, completely and immediately withdraw all its military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

I thank you.