Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

1363rd Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Australia’s National Statement to the 1363rd Meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Thursday 17 March 2022

Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Richard Travers Sadleir


Thank you, Chair.

Australia is taking the floor today to contribute its voice in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the Russian Federation’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The Australian Government stands in solidarity with Ukraine, and with our allies and partners, in holding Russia to account.

The actions of the Russian Federation are a flagrant breach of the UN Charter and its prohibition on the use of force. They have unlawfully attacked the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion has no validity or justification under international law.

Chair, Russia’s invasion has rightly enlivened a very strong – and ongoing – response from countries across the Indo-Pacific region.

The Russian Federation’s list of so-called ‘unfriendly’ countries illustrates the point: alongside a host of European and other countries, you will also find listed Australia, Japan, the Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

Chair, Russia's unlawful actions pose a grave threat to international stability and the fundamental respect for sovereign independence and territorial integrity – the bedrock principles of a rules-based world order.

Under President Putin, Russia has fabricated pretexts for its unprovoked aggression against its democratic neighbour.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is being accompanied by a widespread Russian disinformation and propaganda campaign – both within Russia itself and internationally. Everyday Russians must navigate a world characterised by lies and disinformation generated by their own government, as independent voices are shut down.

Australia stands with our international partners in challenging these false narratives.

Australia believes the OSCE membership has a crucial role to play in calling out Russian disinformation and propaganda.

Chair, Australia is coordinating with governments around the world to ensure that Russia pays a high price for its invasion of Ukraine.

Along with our partners, we have initiated swift and severe sanctions that target over 450 key Russian individuals and entities responsible for seeking to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Australia has also committed AUD70 million in defensive military assistance to support Ukraine’s determined defence of its sovereignty and territory.

And we have committed an initial AUD35 million in immediate humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of the Ukrainian people.

Globally, sanctions are imposing a sharp cost on Russia for its unprovoked and unacceptable aggression against Ukraine.

Australia will continue to play our part to ensure Russia is accountable for its war of aggression in Ukraine.

Chair, I would also like to underscore Australia’s strong support for the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism. As we see and grieve daily the indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians by Russian forces, it is vitally important to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the human rights and humanitarian legal impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For the same reason, the Australian Government joined 38 other countries in referring the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.

We must ensure that Russia’s crimes do not go unpunished.

In conclusion Chair, Australia reiterates its staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine.

We stand with Ukraine.

We call on Russia to cease all hostile actions and withdraw all its forces immediately from Ukraine.

I ask that this statement be attached to the journal of the day.

Thank you Chair.