The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Leendert Verbeek, made the following statement regarding the war in Ukraine:
“I strongly condemn the abduction of the mayors of Melitopol and Dniprorudne, Zaporizhya oblast and the pressure on local elected representatives in occupied territories, and call for their immediate release.
I pay tribute to local leaders for their key role in addressing the daily challenges of citizens in their cities, towns and villages.
I urge the Russian authorities to immediately cease the hostilities, withdraw their troops and stop the abuse of human rights and violations of international law. Existing infrastructure must be preserved, and humanitarian corridors must be maintained for safe evacuation of all settlements under siege.
I wish to reiterate our full solidarity with Ukraine and its people and deplore the loss of lives and the damaging consequences of this unjustified aggression which has caused an unprecedented number of refugees and internally displaced persons not seen on the European continent since the second World War.”
- Ukrainian version : Council of Europe office in Ukraine
- See also: Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine: special page