“Tyranny and terror must fail. Peace and freedom must prevail. The victory of Ukraine is the only way to restore peace in Europe. We stand with Ukraine,” stated the speakers of the Parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland in a joint declaration issued on Friday, 24 February, one year since Russia’s full scale military invasion in Ukraine.
The declaration, signed by Edvards Smiltēns, Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia; Jüri Ratas, President of the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; and Elżbieta Witek, Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, reiterates the unwavering support and commitment of the four countries to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. “Our countries are determined to continue providing political, economic, military, and humanitarian support to Ukraine for as long as necessary,” underlines the Joint Declaration.
Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine has caused immense suffering to the Ukrainian people and impacted millions of people around the world. According to the Joint Declaration, 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 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland reaffirm their full solidarity with the people of Ukraine and commend their courage and determination to defend the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine. “We pay tribute to all those who have sacrificed their lives for the independence of Ukraine and express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine,” states the Joint Declaration.
As underlined in the Declaration, along with partners, the countries will continue their efforts to support the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, including its destroyed infrastructure. “Ukraine shares our common values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights. Ukrainians pay 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 a member of the European Union and NATO,” noted the speakers.
The Declaration condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. “We firmly reject and will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories of Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia,” underlined the speakers of the Parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland.
In addition, the Declaration reiterates the 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 recognised borders. The Declaration calls on the Belarusian and Iranian authorities to stop supporting Russia´s war against Ukraine and on other countries to end all actions enabling Russia’s aggression.
The parliament speakers underline that their countries will 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. In addition, the Declaration condemns the efforts to bring back the Russian and Belarusian athletes into international competitions.
The Joint Declaration states 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 and calls on the swift establishment of a special international tribunal.
Saeima Press Service