The Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, has made the following statement on the anniversary of the expulsion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe:
“On this day, one year ago, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in which all its 46 member states are represented, adopted Resolution CM/Res(2022)2 on the cessation of the membership of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe.
The Russian Federation was expelled for its unjustified and unprovoked military attack against Ukraine, which is a blatant violation of international law, including the Statute of the Council of Europe. In this way, the Council of Europe clearly demonstrated its commitment to the Statute and its support for Ukraine.
Having just visited Kyiv, Borodianka, and Bucha, where I witnessed the horrific consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression first-hand, I condemn in the strongest possible terms how Russia is deliberately violating international humanitarian law by targeting civilians and seeking to terrorize the population. Individual legal responsibility of the perpetrators is of utmost importance and accountability must be ensured as a matter of urgency.
I commended the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people and its leadership in their fight to defend the freedom of Ukraine. I reiterate my unwavering support for Ukraine and its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders.
I want to emphasize that the Russian Federation bears the sole responsibility for depriving persons under its jurisdiction of the protection afforded by the European Convention on Human Rights, and I underline the unconditional obligation of the Russian Federation to fully execute the final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
I reaffirm that support for Ukraine and ensuring accountability will figure prominently on the agenda of the 4th Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Reykjavík on 16-17 May 2023.”