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Two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine: Declaration of the Congress Bureau

The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Marc Cools, has made the following statement:

“24 February 2024 will mark two years since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. On this occasion, the Congress Bureau adopted a Declaration in which it reiterated its condemnation of the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine and reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“In the two years since it was launched, this brutal war has caused the loss of tens of thousands of innocent lives as well as massive destruction throughout Ukraine, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and spreading violence and disinformation, with dramatic long-term repercussions on cities and communities in Ukraine and worldwide.  

“In its Declaration, the Bureau highlighted the critical importance of seeking justice for victims and holding Russia accountable and welcomed the establishment of the Register of Damage for Ukraine, whose action it will support by making sure claims can be taken swiftly including through local and regional authorities.

“The Bureau again joined the international community’s call for the Russian Federation to end its unjustified and unprovoked war against Ukraine and withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine immediately, fully and unconditionally, and condemned the horrific war crimes as well as acts of possible genocide that have been committed by Russian forces.

“The Bureau deplored in particular the impact of the war on the children of Ukraine, including those who have been internally displaced, forced to flee Ukraine, separated from their families and/or forcibly deported by the Russian authorities, and called on local and regional authorities where these children are presently living to take comprehensive action to protect them.

“The Bureau reiterated its solidarity with Ukrainian citizens and their elected leaders, who continue to demonstrate extraordinary courage and resilience in defending their country against the aggressor State, and called on European cities and regions to continue providing large-scale financial, security and humanitarian assistance to their Ukrainian counterparts, including through possible direct, multi-faceted partnerships.

“The Bureau expressed its support for Ukraine’s reform efforts as part of its request for accession to the European Union as well as its firm belief that Ukraine’s decentralisation and local self-government reform significantly contributes to its resilience at local and regional levels, and underlined the importance of pursuing the reform process during the post-war recovery.

“The Bureau stands by the Ukrainian people at this historically decisive time for Ukraine and the world and believes in a common, democratic future based on respect for international law and a just peace.”

  Russian Federation's war against Ukraine: special file

  Helping Ukraine - Cities4Cities

Congress Strasbourg 22 February 2024
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