Bureau statement on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine

24 February 2024

Two years ago today, Russia launched an illegal and brutal full-scale war against Ukraine. This war marked Act Two of the unprovoked aggression against Ukraine which Russia started ten years ago, in February 2014. 

Russia hoped to crush a democratic, independent and sovereign Ukraine. It failed.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has stood with Ukraine from day one. We remain united and determined in our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s aggression and our unwavering support for Ukraine.

Russia’s war has caused innumerable victims, inflicted insufferable pain, driven millions from their homes and caused immense destruction across Ukraine. Russia is stepping up its campaign of terror, shelling population centres and civilian infrastructure. We pay homage to all victims and salute the remarkable bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people. 

Russia bears sole responsibility for triggering the most serious security crisis on the European continent since the Second World War, threatening the very foundations of the rules-based international order. It can put an end to it any time by stopping its aggression and withdrawing all of its troops from all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. 

We will never recognise any of Russia’s attempted illegal and forcible annexations and strongly denounce Russia’s plans to hold its presidential elections in Ukraine’s regions of Crimea, Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia. This is yet another blatant and unabashed violation of international law.

Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly will continue mobilising support for Ukraine for however long it takes for it to win. By providing military, economic, political and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, we also protect our own security and our shared democratic values. We see the struggle in Ukraine as a critical test of the collective resilience of democracies against the tyranny and brutality of authoritarianism.

The Russian regime and perpetrators will have to answer for the war crimes, crimes against humanity, the forcible transfer of children and all other crimes they have committed in Ukraine. The NATO PA will continue to support the establishment of a special international tribunal to prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression. We strongly denounce the military assistance provided to Russia’s aggression by the Belarusian, North Korean and Iranian regimes and those who provide other kinds of assistance to Russia.

We also call on Allied parliaments to back the ramping up and effective enforcement of sanctions as well as to step up support for Ukraine’s reconstruction and urgently develop legal frameworks to allow for the use of frozen Russian assets.

Ukraine aspires to be a member of NATO. We are committed to supporting Ukraine on its path towards membership – a path which the Ukrainian people have chosen and anchored in their Constitution. Through the Assembly’s special fund for Ukraine and stepped-up practical measures, we will also help the Verkhovna Rada strengthen Ukraine’s democracy and democratic institutions now and into the future. 

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