1412th (Reinforced) Meeting of the Permanent Council
The Russian Federation's ongoing aggression against Ukraine
24 February 2023
Statement by H.E Ambassador Richard Sadleir
Ministers, Chairs, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to be here today representing Australia at this reinforced meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.
Today we mark one year since Russia’s illegal and immoral full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
And today, as with all days since the beginning of the war, Australia resolutely and unflinchingly stands with Ukraine.
We mourn the incalculable losses suffered by the Ukrainian people, and we honour the resilience of the Ukrainian people as they continue to stand up to Russia’s brutality.
Russia’s aggression cannot be normalised, and it cannot be minimised.
We unequivocally condemn Russia’s invasion. It is an attack on the fundamental principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty and a gross violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on us all. Over this past year, we have seen that our world is so interconnected that war in Europe impacts all nations and all peoples.
It is not only causing immense human suffering in Ukraine. Russia’s actions are also exacerbating existing stresses in the global economy– constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, and heightening energy and food insecurity.
In recognition of the far-reaching implications of Russia’s war, Australia is proud to have contributed more than 680 million Australian dollars in defence, economic and humanitarian assistance to support Ukraine.
We have imposed a comprehensive suite of measures against Russia, including more than 1,000 targeted financial sanctions and comprehensive import and export bans. And we have supported Ukrainian nationals taking refuge in Australia.
Australia is working with partners to impose costs on Russia and Belarus in the multilateral system to ensure its aggression has consequences for its global standing.
It is critical for any hope of a credible and lasting peace that we ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, and ensure accountability for Russia’s commission of serious international crimes in Ukraine.
Australia acts based on its convictions.
We call on Russia to end its war and to unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine’s territory, consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice.
Russia has a responsibility to act consistently with OSCE principles and should immediately comply with its obligations under international law.
We also call on the Belarusian government to cease its strategic and practical support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ongoing injuries suffered by Ukraine as a result of Russia’s violations of international law require full reparation by Russia.
Australia calls for peace and for a world which respects and preserves the sovereignty of all nations – large and small.
We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.