Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine Is an Attack on Fundamental International Principles
Today marks a tragic anniversary. A year ago – on February 24, 2022 – Russian forces launched an unprovoked and unjustified attack against Ukraine, a sovereign and independent neighbor. Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and its population is a clear and blatant violation of the United Nations Charter and its key principles guaranteeing sovereignty and territorial integrity for all Member States. These principles are the bedrock of the international rules-based order on which our collective peace and security depend. That is what President Biden underscored during his visit this week to Kyiv.
The World Rejects President Putin’s War of Choice
Ukraine’s armed forces and its civilian population have responded to a war they did not choose with incredible bravery, heroism, and resilience. In doing so, they have rallied the world. A vast majority of UN members have repeatedly voted to condemn Russia’s illegal aggression. In October, 143 UN members – including Morocco – stood on the side of freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and supported a General Assembly resolution that condemned Russia’s illegal so-called referendums and attempted illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory. This week, UN members – also again including Morocco— came together once more to support a resolution that underscores the need for a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in Ukraine. The resolutions reaffirm core UN principles, such as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, that must serve as a basis for securing a peaceful resolution.
Allies and partners have also rushed life-saving assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees. Approximately 50 countries have contributed security assistance, economic and energy support, as well as humanitarian aid to ease Ukraine’s suffering.
Russia’s Barbaric Attacks Cause Global Suffering
Russia’s merciless attacks have deliberately and continuously targeted Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. In recent months, Russia has sought to weaponize winter, deliberately attacking Ukraine’s energy facilities and networks. These attacks deprive innocent civilians of heat and electricity, freezing Ukrainian men, women, children, and the elderly to death.
The staggering human toll of Russia’s aggression extends far beyond Ukraine’s borders. The war has caused food, fertilizer, fuel, and energy prices to skyrocket, putting 70 million people around the world at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. This has implications for regional stability in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. High food prices are adversely affecting families across the region. As long as Russian President Putin continues his brutal war of choice in Ukraine, millions around the world will continue to suffer.
The High Stakes for Shared Peace and Security
Russia’s invasion has implications for countries everywhere. It is not just about security in Europe. Every country has a vital interest in defending the principles and values enshrined in the UN Charter that protect borders, sovereignty, and people.
Call to Action: Stand United With Ukraine
A year into Russia’s illegal and unjustified war, as Ukrainians fight for survival and their country’s independence, the United States will continue to stand united with Ukraine as long as it takes. We and our partners will stay united and deny Russia its goal of subjugating Ukraine and undermining peace, security, and prosperity around the world. The International community has shown it seeks a peaceful resolution, as yesterday’s UN General Assembly resolution affirms. Unfortunately, Russia is the sole obstacle to peace. Russian troops and military equipment must withdraw unconditionally from the entire territory of Ukraine, and Russia must end its attacks against Ukraine for there to be a just and comprehensive peace.