Statement by the NATO-Ukraine Council marking two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

  • 24 Feb. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Feb. 2024 08:49

The NATO Invitee associates itself with this Statement.

Today we solemnly mark two years of Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and ten years since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and initial military intervention in the Donbas.  The men and women of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine continue to inspire the world with their resolve and bravery 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 caused by Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war.  Russia has failed in its efforts to undermine Ukraine’s statehood and break the resolve of the Ukrainian people.  Ukraine has prevailed as a sovereign and democratic nation, liberating significant territory and pushing back Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Russia bears full responsibility for this war, a blatant violation of international law including the UN Charter, for which it must be held fully accountable.  There can be no impunity for Russian war crimes and violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including the forced deportation of children and conflict-related sexual violence.  We condemn Russia’s appalling attacks against Ukraine’s cities and its civilian, energy, and port infrastructure, some of which have also impacted Allied territory.  We also condemn all those who are facilitating Russia’s war and amplifying Russia’s disinformation.  Russia must immediately stop this war and completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from Ukraine in line with UN General Assembly resolutions.  We do not and will never recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexations, including Crimea.  Russia has not shown any genuine openness to a just and lasting peace.  Allies welcome and support President Zelenskyy’s commitment in setting out the principles for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace through his Peace Formula. 

Allies remain as resolute as ever in supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail.  We welcome efforts of all Allies and partners agreeing bilateral long-term security commitments and arrangements with Ukraine.  As Ukraine exercises its inherent right to self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter, Allies and partners are providing ongoing military, financial, and humanitarian assistance.  NATO continues to support Ukraine with urgently needed non-lethal equipment and supplies to strengthen Ukraine’s self-defence.  NATO is committed to help strengthen and rebuild the Ukrainian security and defence sector, support Ukraine’s deterrence and defence in the long term, and transition Ukraine to full interoperability with NATO.  Work is ongoing on long-term recovery and reform including on air and missile defence, humanitarian demining, medical rehabilitation for wounded Ukrainian soldiers, support to veterans, post-war reconstruction, defence procurement, and strengthening Ukraine’s defence industrial capacity.  We have also agreed to establish a NATO-Ukraine Joint Analysis, Training, and Education Centre in Poland to identify and apply lessons learned from Russia’s war against Ukraine.

A strong, independent, and democratic Ukraine is vital for the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.  Ukraine’s fight for its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders directly contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.  In the NATO-Ukraine Council, Allies and Ukraine are working closely and taking decisions together, as equals, to support Ukraine’s further integration with NATO, in line with Vilnius Summit decisions.  Ukraine’s future is in NATO.  Allies and Ukraine stand together.