Baltic statement at UNSC meeting on Ukraine

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

Statement delivered by H.E. Rein Tammsaar, Permanent Representative of Estonia on behalf of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

14 May 2024, New York

Mister/Madame President,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the three Baltic countries – Latvia, Lithuania and my own country, Estonia. We also align ourselves with the Statement of the European Union. I thank briefers for their valuable input.

Mister/Madame President,

The humanitarian situation in Ukraine keeps worsening. Every month, Russia uses over 130 types of missiles, including missiles provided by the DPRK, over 320 Shahed drones and around 900 guided aerial bombs against Ukraine. As of late, we can also add chemical weapons to that list. These weapons are systematically used to kill and maim Ukrainian civilians, destroy homes, schools, hospitals and places of cultural heritage, attack food storage facilities and wipe out Ukrainian energy infrastructure on a daily basis. Russia’s bombs have destroyed over 80% of Ukrainian thermal power plants and 50% of hydroelectric power plants – while it claims that it only targets military objects. Based on that, I can only conclude that either the Russian soldiers have a disastrously poor aim rate or that a Permanent Member of the Security Council is a pathological liar.

More than 1700 attacks affecting healthcare facilities and personnel, as verified by World Health Organization, and over 1000 educational facilities damaged or destroyed, as recorded by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2022, and a pattern of „double-tap“ attacks targeting civilians and the rescue workers helping them – these are the trademarks of the Russia’s aggression.

We condemn Russia’s constant and systematic violations of the UN Charter, international law, including international humanitarian law, and UN Security Council resolutions. We also recall the decision by the ICC to indict two Russian military commanders for alleged war crimes, which include deliberately attacking civilian targets and energy infrastructure in Ukraine.

Mister/Madame President,

While the people of Ukraine continue to show remarkable resilience, we underline the need for sustaining humanitarian aid, including urgent support for the restoration of the energy infrastructure. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have altogether contributed over 100 million US dollars’ worth of humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and we will continue to support Ukraine until victory.

At the same time, we call upon all peace-loving Member States to participate at the Peace Summit taking place in June in Switzerland to contribute to comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine based on principles of the UN Charter and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Let me use this opportunity to remind that 18th of May will mark the 80th anniversary of Crimean Tatar mass deportations carried out by the totalitarian Soviet regime. The systemic forced deportations were a widely used colonial tactic led by Stalin to enforce russification campaign, also widely enforced in the Baltic countries.

Mister/Madame President,

To conclude, the aging dictator who reappointed himself complained last week that Russia is going through a difficult period. I have a recommendation to ease Russia’s heavy burden. The solution is simple and has been repeated uncountable times by many around this table and around the globe – withdraw your military forces immediately, completely and unconditionally from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

I thank you.