Statement by the North Atlantic Council marking one year of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine

  • 24 Feb. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Feb. 2023 08:57

The NATO Invitees associate themselves with this Statement.


  1. As we solemnly mark one year of Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we as Allies reaffirm our solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in the heroic defence of their nation, their land, and our shared values.  We pay tribute to the lives lost, and we deplore the tragic human suffering and destruction, including of Ukraine’s residential areas and civilian and energy infrastructure, caused by Russia’s illegal war. 
  2. We are further stepping up political and practical support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion, and will maintain our support for as long as necessary to help Ukraine prevail.  In this context, NATO will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders, including international organisations, in particular the EU, as well as like-minded countries.  We remain resolute in supporting Ukraine’s long-term efforts to secure its free and democratic future. We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.  We fully support Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence and to choose its own security arrangements. 
  3. Russia bears full responsibility for this war, a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter.  Russia’s actions disregard OSCE principles and commitments and gravely undermine international security and stability and the rules-based international order.  While we have called on Russia to engage constructively in credible negotiations with Ukraine, Russia has not shown any genuine openness to a just and lasting peace. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia.  We also condemn all those, including Belarus, who are actively facilitating Russia’s war.  There can be no impunity for Russian war crimes and other atrocities. All those responsible must be held accountable for abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly against Ukraine’s civilian population and including the deportation of children and conflict-related sexual violence.  Russia must immediately stop this war and withdraw all of its military forces from Ukraine in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution adopted on 23 February 2023 and other relevant Resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
  4. Russia’s war also threatens global security.  Russia’s energy blackmail, its impact on global food supplies, its malign hybrid activities, its worldwide disinformation campaign, and its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric demonstrate clearly Russia’s disregard for international norms and the welfare of billions of people around the world.
  5. We will continue to strive for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO is a defensive Alliance.  We are significantly strengthening our deterrence and defence posture, and we remain ready to defend every inch of Allied territory in line with our 360-degree approach against all threats and challenges.  Our commitment to the Washington Treaty, including Article 5, is iron-clad. NATO is stronger and more united than ever.  We have welcomed the choice of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO and reaffirmed our commitment to NATO’s Open Door policy. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with Ukraine as it advances its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.  We are also further strengthening our other partnerships, including by assisting those countries most exposed to Russia’s malign influence. 
  6. Russia’s efforts to break the resolve of the brave people of Ukraine are failing.  One year on, Ukrainians are fighting valiantly for freedom and independence.  We stand with them.