Mr. President,

Switzerland rejects the narrative used in the concept note and the Russian rhetoric. It is now necessary to move towards constructive solutions; towards a just peace in accordance with international law.

Today's meeting is an attempt by the Russian Federation to justify its military aggression in Ukraine. Switzerland reiterates that this is a serious violation of international law, including the UN Charter. Switzerland once again calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine without delay.

With regard to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, lasting since 2014, we recall the efforts of the international community, including those of bilateral and multilateral actors, to alleviate the suffering of the population and find a peaceful solution. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe took concrete steps towards de-escalating the situation, also during the Swiss Chairmanship in 2014. Important results have been achieved, for example in the humanitarian field. We welcome the OSCE's commitment in Ukraine and are convinced of its central role as a regional security actor in Europe and as a platform for dialogue.

Currently, the fighting continues to take a heavy toll on the civilian population. While Russia claims to be acting in the interest of the civilian population, its actions have caused a large number of victims. 

Switzerland recalls that international humanitarian law and human rights must be respected. We do not recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territories, such as the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, by Russia and remind Russia of its obligations as an occupying power. Rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian aid must be guaranteed throughout the territory of Ukraine, including in the occupied areas.

Thank you.