Statement at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on behalf of the Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania by Permanent Representative of Latvia, Ambassador H.E. Ms. Sanita Pavļuta-Deslandes

New York, 7 June 2024

Mister President,

I have the honour to address the Council on behalf of the Baltic States - Estonia, Lithuania and my own country Latvia. We align ourselves with the Statement of the European Union.

I thank today’s briefers for their briefings.

Russia, disregarding the UN Charter and international laws by its illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression, continues to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia violates international humanitarian law by targeting the civilian population and civilian objects in Ukraine.

We continue witnessing deliberate and repeated targeting of civilian infrastructure – apartment buildings, shopping centers, schools, utility supply sites and other. These are not military targets! Kharkiv is yet another example of Russia’s indiscriminate attacks killing civilians, including children and leading to displacement of thousands of people, adding to the millions displaced by the Russian aggression to date. These are the beating hearts of a nation shattered by indiscriminate shelling. Terrified children, the elderly trapped in burning homes, rescue workers being killed are a searing indictment of this war. Launching a missile against a civilian target and waiting the rescuers to arrive and launching another missile - is what terrorists do. It is not mere statistics of lives that are lost and material damage that is caused. These are human lives extinguished, everything dear to them turned into ash. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and once again urge Russia to stop targeting civilian population and objects.

We cannot be bystanders. The Baltic nations have provided and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and support to restore Ukraine’s energy grid. We also continue to provide to Ukraine means to defend itself and its people. Every passing day of this ongoing war exacts a toll not only on innocent lives but also erodes the international order founded on the UN Charter and international law.

Moreover, it is very unfortunate that Russia is using the global food crisis for its own propaganda purposes spreading its false narratives that sanctions are the main cause of the crisis, while it is instead their own brutal war of aggression.

It is worth to remember that the consequences of Russia’s aggression reach far beyond the borders of Ukraine. In the conditions when one third (1/3) of a billion people were facing acute levels of food insecurity last year, and did not know where their next meal will come from, Russia has continued to attack port infrastructure to stop Ukraine’s shipments of agricultural products to the world. We applaud Grain from Ukraine and other initiatives and countries that have worked on facilitating access of Ukraine’s agricultural products to global markets.

The UN Security Council must have no tolerance for aggressor nations, in particular a country which holds a permanent seat. This status comes with the solemn duty to safeguard global peace and security. The Council members are mandated to prevent conflicts, not to ignite them.

The Baltic States strongly condemn the blatant violation of the UN Charter, international law, including international humanitarian law. Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine is carried out with the complicity of Belarus and military support from Iran and DPRK. We all must uphold the principles upon which this organization was founded.

We keep calling upon the aggressor to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

We call upon all peace-loving nations, who respect the independence and territorial integrity of other states to take part in the Peace Summit in Switzerland hence directly contributing to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in full conformity with the sacrosanct principles of the UN Charter.

The Baltic States reaffirm our full solidarity with Ukraine and unwavering support until its victory.

I thank you!