An illegal act, against the UN Charter, the Helsniki Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum and International Law

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of ALBANIA to the UN
General Assembly
Situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine
New York, 23 February 2022
Mr. President,
Eight years ago, Russia seized the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of
Sevastopol from Ukraine. It was an illegal act, against the UN Charter, the Helsniki
Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum and International law.
Two days ago, the same country orchestrated the occupation of two other territories
of the that same country, Ukraine, which it visibly considers a pray and should not
have even the right to exist. It is again an illegal act, against UN Charter, the Helsniki
Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum and International law.
No other UN Member has committed such blatant violations of commitment and
treaties it has signed since World War II.
Dear Colleagues,
What is happening nowadays in Ukraine follows the same pattern, in a predictable
script. After months of military building up on the Ukrainian border, the decision to
recognize non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine as independent entities is a
mockery to the rules that govern relations between sovereign states and stands
in disrespect of everything, we all stand here for.
It is a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and it puts
to an end the Minsk Agreements, which Russia itself, only a few days ago in the
Security Council committed to respect. But, as it has been confirmed, what Russia
says, it is not what Russia does.
Check Against Delivery
Dear Colleagues,
Today we find ourselves before an important choice:
either we defend our shared principles; stand by the UN Charter which is our
International Constitution; respect International Law which governs a rules-based
world order of a community of nations;
or we yield to aggression, international bullying and the rule according to which
“what is yours is mine”. We should stand firm now, not to have to regret what
may further happen tomorrow.
The General Assembly has continuously condemned the annexation of Crimea. It
should condemn this new form of aggression by proliferation of phantom
republics, which redraw international borders at one person’s will.
What is unfolding nowadays in Ukraine goes beyond one single country, or even a
region. It has to do with core principles of international law and the logic and
foundations of international order. We do not think that in the 21st century the
future of any country can be build with the laws, behaviors and errors of the
Albania strongly condemns Russia’s decision to recognize non-governmentcontrolled areas of Ukraine as independent entities as well as any attempts, ideas or
hints to export it elsewhere in Russia’s vicinity, in Europe or beyond. It should ring
the alarm bell to every UN Member State and we call on the General Assembly
to reject and condemn it firmly.
We reiterate our support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its
internationally recognized borders and territorial waters.
Mr. President,
We are very concerned by the decision of Russia to send a so-called “peace-keeping
mission” into Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities did not ask for them, the Security
Council did not mandate them. They do not go there to keep peace but to
exacerbate a conflict. And as the Secretary General Guterres rightly pointed out,
this is a perversion of the concept of peacekeeping. Ukraine and the whole
Europe will be more secure if Russian troops stay home!
Mr President,
Check Against Delivery
We reiterate our call on Russia for immediate de-escalation and military
disengagement. This would prepare the ground for a peaceful settlement of disputes
through diplomacy and meaningful dialogue.
We reiterate our call on Russia to reverse its decisions and engage in talks within the
Normandy Format and give a chance to the Minsk Agreements.
We also welcome the quick and unified reaction by the European Union in
coordination with United States, United Kingdom and Canada in adopting a
proportionate package of sanctions as an anticipated response to Russia’s decisions
and behavior.
Thank you