Norway condemns Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory

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‘Norway condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by Russia to annex four regions of Ukraine. This is a serious violation of international law and is totally unacceptable. It may lead to a further escalation of an already volatile situation,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

‘Norway supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and right to defend itself against Russian military aggression. A decision by Russia to annex the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions does not change this. These areas are Ukrainian territory, and Ukraine has every right to liberate these areas from Russian occupation,’ said Mr Støre.

Prior to today’s decision, Russia held illegal, so-called ‘referendums’ in the regions. These were carried out under military occupation and are in contravention of international law.

‘I would like to emphasise once again that the results of these ‘referendums’ are not legally valid and cannot be used as a basis for annexing another country’s territory. Norway will also support a UN Security Council resolution condemning the annexation, which Russia is expected to veto,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

‘Russia today poses a threat to peace and stability in Europe. Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has brought widespread destruction and enormous suffering to Ukraine’s civilian population. There is evidence documenting that Russian forces have committed serious war crimes. Furthermore, the war is having major ramifications across the world, especially in poor countries,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

‘Russia’s decision to annex Ukrainian territory is yet another violation in a series of violations of international law by the country. Moreover, I reject President Putin’s false accusations against the West. The truth of the matter is that it is Russia that has started this meaningless war, and only Russia can end it,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

Norway will continue to provide political, financial and military support to Ukraine in close cooperation with allied countries.