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Statement by Iceland on the situation in Ukraine

Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1426bis (extraordinary) meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir.

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Here we are – just 24 hours after our last meeting on the same item. Yesterday’s united plea from this body on the Russian Federation to revoke the decision to recognize the non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk and to de-escalate have fallen on deaf ears. We woke up to news of a military attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine this morning. This reckless and unprovoked attack of Russia on Ukraine is a clear breach of international law and the very values and principles upon which this organization is founded.

Iceland stands in full solidarity with Ukraine and calls on the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities, to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and to return to dialogue and diplomacy. Peace must be restored – without delay.

As stated yesterday, this body must react when a Member State seriously violates its Statutory obligations. We had hopes that there was still room for dialogue and diplomacy based on respect for the principles enshrined in the Statute.

Unfortunately, the recent developments indicate the opposite. We deeply regret that it has come to this, but this body now needs to follow the provisions of the Statute, including actions under Article 8, and suspend the Russian Federation from the Council.

In conclusion, Mr. Chair, Iceland reiterates its unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders – a reiteration that cannot be emphasized enough in these dark times.

I thank you.

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