The Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of the Baltic States, the Nordic Countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland today made a joint statement in which they call on speeding up the delivery of military aid to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, increasing financial support to the Ukrainian Government and to neighbouring countries hosting the war refugees, as well as beginning of planning for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine.
In the Statement, the Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees affirm their continuing solidarity with the people of Ukraine and pay tribute to their extraordinary sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom, the territorial integrity of their country and the sovereignty of their democracy. “It is incumbent on us to respond collectively and decisively to a war that seeks to change the status quo through force, and which is already redefining the future of Europe,” they say.
They call on continuing and intensifying the international community’s support to Ukraine—speeding up the delivery of heavy weapons and other military assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in addition to increasing financial support to the Ukrainian Government for its day-to-day spending and to neighbouring countries hosting nearly 5 million Ukrainian refugees. “We further call on governments to begin planning, in close cooperation with the Government of Ukraine, for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine,” the Statement emphasises.
The Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees condemn the serial breach of international law and the perpetration of war crimes in Ukraine by the Russian Armed Forces and their proxies. They call on the international community to take all necessary steps to deter Russian military personnel from the further terrorisation of the people of Ukraine, ensuring that those responsible are held to account. “This includes the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Punishment of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine,” the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees say, and consider it necessary to ensure the investigators resources and immediate access to the sites connected with crimes in Ukraine.
The Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees also condemn Russia’s weaponisation of food and hunger as tools to increase its power and leverage. “The UN Secretary-General has warned that hundreds of millions of people are at risk of “hunger and destitution” because of food shortages caused by the war. Some 750,000 are already experiencing starvation and acute malnutrition in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Yet Russia continues its blockade of Black Sea ports, is conducting sustained attacks on grain silos, fertiliser stores and farming infrastructure, and is stealing grain from occupied areas for its own consumption or profit.,” the Statement points out.
The Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees call on their governments to work with likeminded partners to enhance our collective security against military and nuclear threats in Europe, linking the High North with the Baltics and the Black Sea, and urgently acting to reduce nuclear risks. They also invite their governments to establish horizon-scanning mechanisms for insidious state threats to our democracies and free-market economies, and to share the insight generated with allies and likeminded partners to create a common threat picture.
The Statement has been signed by the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson signed the Statement on behalf of Estonia.
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