Mr President,

We deplore the fact that, once again, an Arria formula meeting is being used to promote a politically biased narrative and to intend to distort reality. We reject the discourse used in the concept note, which attempts to justify Russia's military aggression against its neighboring country. This narrative, which is also repeated by briefers, will not be convincing.

Ten years ago, the Maidan revolution brought together all layers of Ukrainian society, in every region of the country. Together, Ukrainians protested against a socio-economic and political system that no longer represented them. When the government of the day tried to violently suppress the protests, the demonstrators firmly resisted. It was a struggle for democratic values, for strengthening the rule of law and human rights; a struggle to overcome corruption and the threat of authoritarianism.

Switzerland defends the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression recognized by international human rights law. With the Maidan revolution, Ukrainians exercised these rights, sending a strong signal of their country's independence and autonomy. Such a sovereign act, of independently deciding one's own destiny, cannot be used as a pretext or interpreted as the cause of the current situation. We condemn Russia's violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity since the revolution, namely the annexation of Crimea, the interference in eastern Ukraine and the military aggression since February 2022.

We recall the significant efforts of the international community, in particular the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to de-escalate the situation in the territories that are not controlled by the government since 2014. We are convinced that the OSCE must continue to play an important role as an actor in regional security in Europe. Once again, we call on Russia to return to respecting its international obligations and immediately withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.

In the spirit of the Maidan, we will continue our 25-year commitment to supporting the reforms undertaken by Ukraine, which are paving its European path. Switzerland will continue to stand by Ukrainiens and work for peace, prosperity and full respect for international law.

I thank you.