We Stand United with Ukraine

23.02.2023 - Press release

The Chiefs of Mission of Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States in Riyadh:

Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine Is an Attack on Fundamental International Principles

A year ago, an overwhelming Russian force attacked Ukraine, a sovereign and independent neighbor. Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and its population represents a blatant attack on and a manifest violation of the UN 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.

The World Rejects President Putin’s War of Choice

Through its heroic defenders and resilient civilians, Ukraine’s courageous stance against Russia’s overwhelming force has rallied the world. A vast majority of UN members, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, repeatedly voted to condemn Russia’s illegal aggression. In October, 143 UN members stood on the side of freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. This wholesale rejection of Russia’s efforts to dismember another sovereign UN Member State sent an unmistakable signal to the Kremlin and to the rest of the world.

Allies and partners have 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. We welcome Saudi Arabia’s recent pledge of $400 million and an earlier pledge of $10 million to aid Ukrainians. Similarly, we applaud the Kingdom’s leadership in mediating a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia last fall that released hundreds of prisoners of war.

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 during a frigid winter, 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 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. High food prices are driving popular discontent in some countries in the Middle East, North Africa and, particularly, the Horn of Africa, which is also suffering from drought. In the face of this global crisis, Saudi Arabia has worked with other donors to save lives, helping to feed and support many through its generous assistance. However, as long as 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

This conflict 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.

There is abundant evidence that Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used to attack Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and cities. We firmly condemn any transfer of Iranian UAVs to Russia and their use in Russia’s war against Ukraine, just as we condemned UAV and missile attacks against the Kingdom.

Iran-Russia military collaboration in Ukraine brings this conflict closer to the Gulf and threatens our shared stability.

We will continue to stand with Ukraine to protect the Ukrainian people and territory against Russia’s illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified war of aggression. We will also stand with Saudi Arabia to protect the Kingdom’s people and territory from Iranian proxies and their attacks.

Call to Action: Stand United With Ukraine

A year into Russia’s illegal and unjustified war, as brave Ukrainians fight for survival and their country’s independence, we will continue to stand united with Ukraine as long as it takes. Indeed, it is crucial to present a united front to deny Russia the opportunity to undermine peace, security, and prosperity in Ukraine and around the world. The international community cannot accept violations of the core principles of the United Nations Charter. Russia is the sole obstacle to peace in Ukraine. Russian troops and military equipment must withdraw unconditionally from the entire territory of Ukraine, and hostilities must cease in order for there to be a just and comprehensive peace. We call on President Putin to end this war today without further human suffering. As we stood with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and our other Gulf partners against an unjust invasion in the 1990s, we stand together now with Ukraine.

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