Back Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine: Two years on

Council of Europe leaders reiterate support and solidarity
Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine: Two years on

Liechtenstein Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport and President of the Committee of Ministers, Dominique Hasler, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Theodoros Rousopoulos, and the Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, today made the following statement on the occasion of the second year anniversary of the beginning of the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (24 February) and the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (26 February):

“Every day since 24 February 2022, the Ukrainian people have endured with courage and dignity the consequences of the Russian authorities’ disastrous decision to launch a military attack on their country. On this tragic and deeply regrettable anniversary, our thoughts are with Ukrainians of all ages who have seen their lives changed dramatically by the atrocities and trauma caused by Russia’s unprovoked and illegal aggression. We send them a message of support and solidarity. We are - and will remain - at their side.

“We are particularly shocked by the recent increase in civilian casualties caused by the Russian bombings and repeat, once again, that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international law, wherever they take place.

“Another matter of grave concern for us is the fate of children who have been illegally deported by the Russian Federation from Ukraine or forcibly transferred within the territories of Ukraine that are temporarily occupied by Russia. We further stress the importance of the work of the Council of Europe, including in the Consultation Group on the Children of Ukraine (CGU) which coordinates action concerning children who have sought refuge in other Council of Europe member States.

“Meeting in Reykjavik last May, the Heads of State and Government of our 46 member States made clear that "there can be no lasting peace without accountability”. To this end, they created the Council of Europe Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine as a first step towards a compensation mechanism. We welcome the fact that 43 countries and the European Union are currently participating in our Register and support efforts to further increase the number of participants. We look forward to seeing the Register becoming fully operational with the first claims to be submitted this spring.

“Driven by our commitment to justice, we will continue working towards ensuring that the Russian civilian and military authorities are held to account before competent courts for the crimes committed against Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we condemn the Russian Federation’s attempts to bring criminal charges against those striving to hold the Russian Federation accountable for its crimes, including judges and prosecutors from the International Criminal Court. Moreover, we stress that the Russian Federation must fully comply with its international law obligation to execute the final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

“As the Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression is entering its third year, and as we mark also the 10th anniversary of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, we reiterate our strong and unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”

 Statement by the Commissioner for Human Rights : Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine, 2 years on: our common struggle in defence of Ukrainian people’s human rights

Council of Europe Strasbourg 23 February 2024
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