Statement by the UNIC Co-chairs Oleksandr KORNYENKO (Ukraine), First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, and Michal SZCZERBA (Poland), Deputy Head of the Polish delegation to the NATO PA
We are united in our strong condemnation of Russia’s provocative, reckless and unjustified military build-up on the eastern borders of Ukraine and aggressive rhetoric. Russia bears sole responsibility for putting Europe’s security order at risk. Any further aggression against Ukraine will have severe consequences for Russia.
We welcome NATO Allies’ active diplomatic efforts, including through the NATO-Russia Council, to convince Russia to de-escalate the situation, and we salute the close coordination with Ukraine. No decisions about Ukraine should be made without Ukraine.
We reject Russia’s narrative of exclusive spheres of influence and are determined to uphold the core principle that all states have the right to freely choose their own path and security arrangements. Ukraine, as a sovereign nation, has chosen European and Euro-Atlantic integration. This path is enshrined in the Ukrainian constitution and has the support of the people of Ukraine. We welcome Allies’ repeated reaffirmation of the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO and that no third country holds a veto over their Euro-Atlantic integration.
We continue to denounce, in the strongest terms, Russia’s ongoing aggression and occupation of parts of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, its grave human rights violations in these parts, the illegal restriction of freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and the continued assault against Ukraine’s democracy through malicious cyber activities, disinformation, espionage and other hybrid techniques. We will never recognise Russia’s forcible and illegal annexation of Crimea. Crimea is Ukraine.
We strongly welcome the political and practical support which Allies provide to Ukraine bilaterally and through NATO to help Ukraine defend itself and to consolidate its democratic institutions. We encourage Allies to further increase this support. The Ukrainian citizens, parliament and government remain fully committed and will continue the reform process. Progress in bolstering the rule of law and strengthening the judicial system is instrumental in strengthening Ukraine’s democratic resilience and advancing its European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
As an alliance of democracies, NATO Allies have a responsibility to uphold the rules-based international order, which is being challenged by resurgent autocratic powers. Today, Ukraine stands at the frontline of this struggle, and the Euro-Atlantic community must stand firmly by Ukraine and unite all our possible efforts and means towards a peaceful resolution in line with international law and democratic principles.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has affirmed, time and again, its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, Euro-Atlantic integration and reform process. The Assembly will visibly demonstrate this support when it holds its next Spring Session in Kyiv in May.
UNIC was created in 1998 to bring greater transparency to the implementation of the NATO–Ukraine Charter and to demonstrate parliamentary interest and involvement in cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. It has since become a wider forum where members can discuss any issues of mutual concern. UNIC meets twice a year: once in Brussels at NATO headquarters and once in Ukraine. Its meetings are also open to the members of the Political Committee’s Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships.
A press release of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council will be published soon.