Victory of Ukraine only way to restore peace in Europe - Baltic, Polish speakers

  • 2023-02-24
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The speakers of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland issued a joint declaration on Friday in which they reaffirmed their full solidarity with the people of Ukraine, condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and underlined that the victory of Ukraine is the only way to restore peace in Europe.

The speakers issued the joint declaration on the day that marks one year since the beginning of Russia's full-scale, unprovoked, and illegal military invasion of Ukraine.

"Russia's ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine has caused immense suffering to the Ukrainian people and impacted millions of people around the world. It has undermined security and stability in Europe and globally, representing a major attack on the rules-based international order," the speakers of the parliaments of four countries stated.

They reaffirmed their full solidarity with the people of Ukraine and commended their courage and determination to defend the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine, paid tribute to all those who had sacrificed their lives for the independence of Ukraine and expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine. They also reiterated their unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

According to the speakers, their countries are determined to continue providing political, economic, military, and humanitarian support to Ukraine for as long as necessary.

"We call on other countries to increase the support to Ukraine to ensure Ukraine's ability to defend its independence and restore its territorial integrity. We support President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's 10-point peace formula that aims to ensure the lasting security of Ukraine and the region. Along with other partners, we will continue our efforts to support the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, including its destroyed infrastructure," they said.

They are convinced that Ukraine shares our common values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights, and that Ukrainians are paying the ultimate price for defending our common values and European security.

"Ukraine’s place is in the Euro-Atlantic family of free and democratic countries. We are committed to further supporting Ukraine's aspirations to become the member of the European Union and NATO," they stated in the joint declaration.

The speakers condemned Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine, firmly rejected the illegal annexation of Ukraine's territories of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, and expressed deep concern about the growing Russian military presence in Belarus which is a factor that increases security threats in the region.

"We reiterate our demand for the immediate cessation of hostilities by Russia against Ukraine, of all deliberate and indiscriminate attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the full, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders," the speakers said in the joint declaration. "We call on the Belarusian and Iranian authorities to stop supporting Russia's war against Ukraine. We also call on other countries to end all actions enabling Russia's aggression."

The speakers declared that the Baltic states and Poland would continue to increase collective pressure on Russia to end this war and withdraw its troops from Ukraine by raising the cost of aggression for Russia, by further reinforcing and extending the restrictive measures against Russia, and by further strengthening the international isolation of Russia in all possible formats and areas. They also condemned the efforts to bring the Russian and Belarusian athletes back into international competitions.

The speakers underlined that Russia, and all perpetrators and accomplices must be held accountable for the crime of aggression, for the war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

"We support the investigation launched by the International Criminal Court to identify and prosecute those who have committed war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity on the territory of Ukraine. We call on the swift establishment of a special international tribunal under the auspices of the UN for bringing to justice the perpetrators of the crime of aggression by Russia's political and military leadership against Ukraine," they said.

They also emphasized that Russia had to pay for the damages caused to Ukraine.

"We will work with our allies and partners towards the use of Russia's frozen assets to support Ukraine's reconstruction and for the purposes of reparation," they declared.

"Tyranny and terror must fail. Peace and freedom must prevail. Victory of Ukraine is the only way to restore peace in Europe. We stand with Ukraine," the speakers of the parliaments of four countries said in their joint declaration.

The joint declaration was signed by Estonian parliament speaker Juri Ratas, Latvian parliament speaker Edvards Smiltens, Lithuanian parliament speaker Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen and Polish parliament speaker Elzbieta Witek.