Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Despite weeks of warning, Russia’s Feb. 24 decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine caught much of the world by surprise. Russian President Vladimir Putin released what appeared to be a prerecorded statement just as the offensive began, wherein he described the commencement of a “special military operation” aimed at defending the Ukrainian breakaway territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, which he had recently recognized as independent countries, as well as the “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.” Within minutes, the first of a barrage of missile strikes hit targets around the country as Russian ground troops moved into Ukrainian territory, initiating what is believed to be the biggest attack on a European state since World War II.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Putin made his announcement just as the U.N. Security Council was convening a special session on the Ukraine crisis. The ensuing debate provided a microcosm into much of the world’s initial reactions to Russia’s actions. While many member states quickly condemned Russia’s actions, others—most notably China and India—made more general calls for deescalation on all sides and a return to diplomatic dialogue. Russia’s representative continued to defend its actions as necessary responses to Ukraine’s own hostility toward the people of Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine’s representative, meanwhile, called on Russia to end its aggression, noting: “[T]here is no purgatory for war criminals—they go straight to hell.”
“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight[,]” President Biden said in his own press statement shortly after the invasion began. But much of the world has only begun to formulate its formal response to Russia’s actions. This post brings together the official responses we have been able to locate thus far. We will update this list—which was last updated at 3:00 p.m. on March 4—as more official statements become available.
International and Multilateral Institutions
Council of Europe
Feb. 24: The president of the Council of Europe Congress made a statement condemning Russia’s “flagrant violation of international law and the Statute of Council of Europe, and the principles and values it stands for.”
Feb. 24: Following an extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Ministers, the Committee condemned “in the strongest terms the armed attack on Ukraine,” called on Russia to “immediately and unconditionally” cease its military obligations, condemned the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as independent entities and focused on the commitment to the “independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.”
Feb. 25: In a short statement, the Council of Europe, a human rights organization distinct from the Council of the European Union, announced that it had suspended the Russian Federation’s rights of representation before various council bodies. This move does not remove Russia as a council member and was described as a “a temporary one, leaving channels of communication open.”
Group of 7 (G-7)
Feb. 24: The Group of 7 (G-7) leaders released a statement that condemned “the large-scale military aggression by the Russian Federation against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.” The statement described the attack as “unprovoked and completely unjustified” as well as a “serious violation of international law and a grave breach of the United Nations Charter and all commitments Russia entered in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris and its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum.”
Feb. 24 at 6:22 a.m. EST: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s attack on Ukraine “a brutal act of war” and a “cold-blooded & long-planned invasion.”
Feb. 24 at 8:52 a.m. EST: The North Atlantic Council (NAC) acknowledged a request by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to hold urgent Article 4 consultations.
Feb. 24: The NAC issued a formal statement “condemn[ing] in the strongest possible terms Russia’s horrifying attack on Ukraine” as unjustified and unprovoked. They labeled the attack as “a grave violation of international law, including the UN charter, ... the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Budapest Memorandum, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act.” The NAC also promised a “very heavy economic and political price” and close coordination with stakeholders and international organizations. Additionally, the alliance’s governing body announced that it had held Article 4 consultations and has decided “in line with our defensive planning to protect all Allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defence across the Alliance.” It also promised that its “measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.”
Feb. 24 at 11:24 a.m. EST: Stoltenberg announced that he plans to convene a “summit with allied leaders” on Feb. 25.
Feb. 25: President Biden joined an emergency NATO summit on Feb. 25 from the White House Situation Room. This meeting included the 30 members of NATO plus partners Finland and Sweden. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg opened the meeting with public remarks stating that “Moscow bears sole responsibility for the deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion …. We fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, its right of self-defense, and its right to choose its own path.” In a post-summit news conference, Stoltenberg said that NATO will hold Russia accountable as the aggressor in Ukraine and will hold Belarus accountable as an enabler. Stoltenberg reiterated the strength and core defense tenets of the NATO alliance and stated that NATO will begin deploying forces from the NATO Response Force (NRF) to include members of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force to ensure the security of NATO allies. This is the first time the NRF has been used in a defensive manner since its inception in November 2002. The alliance also released a formal statement following its meeting, promising to “take all measures and decisions required to ensure the security and defence of all Allies.” The NATO statement also noted that “Russia bears full responsibility” and underlined its “unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, including its territorial waters.”
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Feb. 24: A joint statement by the OSCE chairman and secretary general stated: “We strongly condemn Russia’s military action against Ukraine. This attack on Ukraine puts the lives of millions of people at grave risk and is a gross breach of international law and Russia’s commitments.”
Feb 24: The OSCE convened a reinforced meeting of the permanent council. Nearly all of the 57 member states condemned Russia’s operations as blatant violations of international law. The OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said, “By this act of military aggression Russia broke virtually all international treaties, rules and commitments, including the fundamentals of this Organization - the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris.” He continued, saying, “This behavior is proof that Russia has rejected all international efforts, including within the OSCE, to engage in dialogue.”
Feb. 25: The OSCE released multiple documents reporting on the fighting in Ukraine, all related to its ongoing monitoring mission. The reports focused primarily on explosions, military movement and evacuations, as well as the humanitarian impacts of the ongoing war.
Feb. 25: At a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Albania’s ambassador accused Russia of trying to turn the historical clock backward and destroy a less powerful neighbor in an action that would “stain the Charter of the United Nations with innocent blood.” After a vote to condemn Russian actions was vetoed by Russia, the ambassador, Ferit Hoxha, pledged that Albania would stand ready to shelter Ukranians fleeing to safety.
Feb. 27: In a statement on Albania’s sanctions, Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka underlined the responsibility of Russia for its “clear aggression, an illegal and criminal war.”
Feb. 28: Albania announced it would be a co-sponsor for the resolution tabled at the Emergency Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly regarding Ukraine. In remarks at the General Assembly, Albania underlined that Russia has committed a “clear and blatant violation of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations” and also condemned the involvement of Belarus in this “act of aggression.” Albania called on Russia to “immediately stop its military actions, withdraw all force and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence within its internationally recognised borders.”
March 2: Xhaçka announced that Albania would join 37 allies to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.
Feb. 24 at 1:24 a.m. EST: Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg tweeted: “Ukraine has become the victim of another Russian aggression. … Russia has chosen the path of violence. In these difficult hours, we stand with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”
March 2: Austria co-sponsored the text of the U.N. General Assembly resolution on Ukraine, which passed with an overwhelming majority.
March 2: Austria condemned the attack on the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial, noting that it “must be absolutely protected under international humanitarian law.”
March 3: At the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council, Austrian official Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal urged Russia to immediately stop its attacks “constituting war crimes under international humanitarian law.”
March 4: Austria strongly condemned Russia’s shelling of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia and stated it is a “threat to the security of each and every European.”
Feb. 24: President Alexander Lukashenko said at an operational meeting with his military that “[w]ays must be found to prevent bloodshed and massacre. … The entire infrastructure is reported to have already been destroyed. It was known to everyone, including Russia. In a ground operation, a single shot, a single death will start a full-scale war. This must be prevented.” Lukashenko also clarified in a tweet that “[t]he Belarusian army is not taking part in the Russian special operation in the Donbass.”
Feb. 25 at 9:58 a.m. EST: Anatoly Glaz, spokesperson of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, announced that Belarus was “reaffirm[ing] our commitment to make every effort to bring back peace to Ukraine, to stop the bloodshed between the fraternal Slavic peoples.”
March 1: Lukashenko stated that the Belarusian army “has not taken part and is not taking part in hostilities, Belarus is not going to participate in special operation in Ukraine, using our own forces we defend state border from Brest to Mozyr to prevent penetration of radicals and weapons into the country.”
Feb. 22 at 2:11 a.m. EST: President Rumen Radev criticized the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk by Russia as dooming “the efforts for de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and [leading] to rising tensions throughout the whole region.” He added that “sustainable solution to the crisis cannot be found through violation of international law and by military means.”
Feb. 24: Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov strongly condemned the aggression of Russia against Ukraine. “The military aggression has not been provoked by Ukraine … It is unacceptable for us to stand hostilities on such a serious scale in Europe in the 21st century.” This statement was supported by Radev, who said “[h]aving strategic bombers and missiles flying in Europe in the 21st century, assaults by air and sea against a sovereign state, is absolutely inadmissible.”
Feb. 24: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated its support of Ukraine and its legitimate government, underlining its support for Ukraine’s “territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.”
Feb. 27: Bulgaria’s government announced it would provide humanitarian air and military logistics support to Ukraine.
Feb. 24 at 9:58 a.m. EST: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement condemning Russia’s “unjustifiable and unfounded aggression against Ukraine.” The ministry said that “Russia is trampling on the elementary principles of European security architecture, international law, and peaceful coexistence between nations, which it itself cynically invokes. After years of laboriously built stability, Russia is bringing war, chaos and suffering to Europe, not only to countless innocent Ukrainians, but also to its own citizens and other Europeans.” The statement also urged Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory or face “massive consequences for its actions.”
Feb. 24: Czech President Milos Zeman, often seen as one of Putin’s closest allies in Eastern Europe, strongly condemned the invasion of Ukraine. Zeman stated that “[i]t’s necessary to isolate a lunatic and not just to defend ourselves by words but also by deeds” as he characterized Russian action as “an absolutely unjustified act of aggression against a sovereign state.” The chief judge of the Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court also suggested that a European arrest warrant should be issued for Putin.
Feb. 25: The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a joint statement with participants in the International Crimea Platform to reaffirm “the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The statement called on Russia and Russia-backed formations “to respect international law, including international humanitarian law.”
Feb. 24 at 12:50 a.m. EST: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stated that Russia’s invasion of “a free and sovereign nation has no place in Europe in our time.” She also noted that Russia will face consequences for its actions.
Feb. 24: Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod delivered a statement condemning “Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine and the involvement of Belarus in these actions” and adding that, “[b]y its unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law, breaching OSCE commitments and undermining European and global security.”
March 2: The Nordic-Baltic Foreign Ministers released a joint statement condemning “in the strongest terms possible the invasion of Ukraine” and the indiscriminate attacks on civilians. It also underlined that “Russia’s aggression and brutal armed attack is a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”
March 3: Denmark released a joint statement on Arctic Council Cooperation temporarily pausing participation in meetings of the council and its subsidiary bodies because of Russia’s flagrant violation of “the core principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, based on international law.”
Feb. 24 at 2:33 a.m. EST: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement “condemn[ing] the wide-ranging military attack by Russia against Ukraine” as disregarding “international order and several international agreements.” Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets stated that “Russia’s attack against Ukraine today is completely unacceptable and violates international law. Estonia, together with its allies and responsible international community must do their utmost to make sure Russia’s aggression ends as soon as possible.”
Feb. 24 at 7:56 a.m. EST: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian ambassador to Estonia to say that “Russia’s attack constituted a complete disregard for not only international law but the fundamental principles of humanity.
Feb. 27: Liimets said that Estonia will not recognise the “illegal referendum organized by the Lukashenka regime, the aim of which is to strengthen dictatorship,” calling on both Russia and Belarus to stop the war.
March 2: At the Human Rights Committee, Liimets emphasized that Russia’s authorities must be held “full accountable for a large-scale war” and for “crime against Ukrainian people.”
March 3: At a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stated that “the Security of Ukraine is the security of Europe. Although there is no direct military threat to our region, NATO must make a leap now and adapt rapidly to the new security situation. We must move from forward presence to forward defence and from air-policing to air defence.”
Feb. 24: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where she accused Putin of ordering “atrocious acts of aggression against a sovereign and independent country, and innocent people.” Calling the attack an “outrageous violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty” that threatens the stability of “Europe and the whole international order.” On the same day, von der Leyen released a written statement on the same topic.
Feb. 24: The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a declaration condemning both Russia and Belarus and calling on them to abide by international commitments. The Russian attack was called “a flagrant violation of international law and the core principles on which the international rules-based order is built.” The statements also called on “Russia to fully respect international humanitarian law, and to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need” and to “ensure the safety of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.”
Feb. 25 at 12:17 a.m. EST: Von der Leyen praised strong EU participation at an earlier NATO summit and stated that “Putin tried to divide us but we are more united than ever. We stand by the courageous Ukrainian people.”
Feb. 27: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called for the EU to use its Temporary Protection Directive to protect refugees. Johansson praised Europe’s reaction to the 300,000 refugees who have already fled to the EU and expressed a need to continue in solidarity. After a meeting of Europe’s interior ministers, Johannson told reporters that the European Commission would ask its membership to grant temporary asylum to all Ukrainians coming into Europe for up to three years.
March 1: European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said the European Parliament welcomed Ukraine’s application for candidate status.
March 2: The European Commission further stated, in line with the EU Council, that “Belarus is supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in various and unacceptable ways.”
March 4: Following the proposal from the European Commission to activate the Temporary Protection Directive, the Council of the European Union unanimously adopted the implementation of temporary protection, for an initial period of one year, for Ukrainian nationals, as well as third country nationals or stateless persons benefiting from international protection in Ukraine, and their family members.
Feb. 24 at 3:31 a.m. EST: Finland’s president and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy issued a statement condemning Russia’s military actions as an attack on Ukraine and the entire European security order and a “flagrant violation of international law.” Finland also announced it would “respond to Russia’s actions as part of the European Union.”
Feb. 27: In a statement announcing a significant increase in medical, military and financial assistance to Ukraine, Finland stated that it “strongly condemn[ed] Russia’s military actions in Ukraine” and “support[ed] Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, self-determination and territorial integrity. Russia’s military operations have caused a large-scale humanitarian emergency in Ukraine.” The statement was followed a day later by reports that Finland would send lethal aid to Ukraine.
Feb. 28: The president of Finland announced arms assistance to Ukraine.
March 2: High Representative Josep Borrell gave a statement on the adoption of the U.N. General Assembly resolution, reiterating “they have deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation, as well as the involvement of Belarus, demanded that they cease their use of force against Ukraine, and withdraw all military forces from the entire territory of Ukraine – immediately, completely and unconditionally.
March 3: Minister for Foreign affairs Pekka Haavisto made a statement at the U.N. Human Rights Council supporting, inter alia, “Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, self-determination and territorial integrity,” also noting that “Russia’s unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law and the U.N. Charter.”
Feb. 24 at 8:05 a.m. EST: President Emmanuel Macron delivered a televised address in front of the flags of the European Union, France and Ukraine. He said, “In breaking his word and refusing the path of diplomacy, in choosing war, President Putin has not only attacked Ukraine: He has decided to trample Ukraine’s sovereignty .… He has decided to commit the most serious violation of peace and stability our Europe has seen in decades.”
Feb. 24: In front of the U.N. Security Council, France’s ambassador credited Ukraine’s commitment to peace in the face of invasion and condemned Putin’s aggression. He also called for an end to violations of the U.N. Charter and called for Russia to withdraw its recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
Feb. 25: Macron addressed the French National Assembly and French Senate in stating his intent to pledge an additional $338 million in aid and military equipment to Ukraine. Additionally, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that France is ready and able to assist in the security of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Le Dian said, “His security is a central element of what is happening, and we are in a position to be able to help him, if necessary, but it is important that he takes his place.”
Feb. 25: After a meeting with Belarusian human rights activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the French foreign minister stated that “[t]he complicity of [Belarusian President] Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in flagrant violation of international law and signed agreements, marks a new and very serious step in Mr Lukashenko’s process of submission to Russia.”
Feb 27: France was one of many nations calling for a U.N. General Assembly special session after Russia’s veto of U.N. Security Council action. The Security Council approved the call for a special session by a 11-1-3 vote.
Feb. 24 at 1:17 a.m. EST: Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Russian actions “a blatant violation of international law” and noted that “[t]here is no justification for it.”
Feb. 26: After widespread criticism of a decision to send only 5,000 helmets to Ukraine, Germany’s Foreign Office announced that it would be sending anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, saying, “We are appalled by this breach of international law, but not paralyzed.” On the same day, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expressed support for Ukraine’s “inalienable right to self-defense.”
Feb. 27: At a meeting of the German Bundestag, Scholz labeled Feb. 24 as “a turning point in the history of our continent.” The speech covered a variety of topics, including Germany’s decision to provide lethal aid to the Ukrainian military, a commitment to better equip and fund Germany’s own military (by meeting NATO’s much-discussed 2 percent goal), and a vow to build additional energy capacity independent of Russia.
March 1: Baerbock, in her speech to the U.N. General Assembly, called Russia’s war “one of aggression” and said that Russia was abusing its power as a permanent member of the Security Council.
March 4: In an interview, Baerbock stated that “we jointly fight for and defend our freedom and peace. It is not NATO which threatens Putin.”
Feb. 24: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and called the invasion a “flagrant violation of international law and universal values.” The ministry also said that the attack undermines European peace and security, and it said that “the protection of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of all states constitutes a fundamental principle for Greece and we consistently condemn any violation of these basic principles provided for in the United Nations Charter.” Greece is reportedly coordinating with other European nations and NATO allies to coordinate a response to “the violation of international legality.”
Feb. 24: President Katerina Sakellaropoulou “strongly condemned the Russian attack on an independent country” and described it as a “clear violation of international law and our values.” She further called on Russia “to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and to end its aggression.”
After weeks of notable silence on the Russian invasion, Putin ally and Hungarian president Victor Orban stated in a video posted to Facebook that “Together with our European Union and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military action.” Foreign Minister Peter Szijijarto continued, saying “Hungary’s position is clear: we stand by Ukraine, we stand by Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Feb. 25: In a statement after its vote in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ireland’s ambassador criticized Russia’s ability to veto action in the face of “the great majority of [the Security Council’s] members.”
Feb. 24: Prime Minister Mario Draghi promised that the West will do everything necessary to restore full Ukrainian sovereignty over its lands. He demanded Russia pull back its forces to internationally recognized borders. He promised the “full and unconditional solidarity” of Italy and said the Italian embassy in Kyiv would remain open and fully operational. Further, he promised that EU leaders would impose tough sanctions on Russia later today. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also reportedly summoned the Russian ambassador.
Feb. 27 at 9:39 a.m. EST: In response to “Russia’s severe aggression to Ukraine,” Kosovo requested accelerated membership consideration in NATO and a permanent American military base.
Feb. 24 at 9:16 a.m. EST: Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs announced that he recalled Latvia’s ambassador to Russia and suspended issuance of Latvian visas to Russian citizens in most cases.
Feb. 25: The Latvian Foreign Ministry summoned the Chargé d’Affaires of the Russian Embassy in Latvia, Alexander Sheremet, to express “the strongest condemnation of Russia’s unjustified invasion in the territory of Ukraine,” and pointed out “that Russia was fully responsible for the situation and its consequences, including the loss of innocent lives.”
March 1: The Latvian foreign minister tweeted that the Latvian government supports Ukraine’s membership to the EU and urged EU member states to do the same.
Feb. 24 at 12:38 a.m. EST: Foreign ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania condemned “large scale Russian aggression” as a “blatant violation of the international law, of all international norms, and a crime against Ukrainian people.” They called for political isolation and firm support of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Feb. 25: In a joint statement with Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania accused Russia of abusing its veto power at the U.N. Security Council and called attention to the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over “any act of genocide, crime against humanity, or war crime committed within the territory of Ukraine.” The statement called the current situation “the most dangerous moment in European - and global - security for a generation.”
Feb. 24 at 4:35 a.m. EST: President Maia Sandu condemned Russia’s act of war against Ukraine in a tweet. Sandu said that the Russian attack was a “blatant breach of international law and of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Moldova also offered assistance to Ukrainian citizens in their humanitarian needs.
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, Norway’s ambassador condemned Putin’s military movement into Luhansk and Donetsk and his subsequent “special military operation” in Ukraine, calling the decisions unjustified and unprovoked. She also called on all parties to respect the requirements of international humanitarian law, especially regarding civilians.
Feb. 24: Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said he “strongly condemns Russia’s military attack on Ukraine” and claimed that “Russian authorities have the full and complete responsibility for throwing Europe into this very dark situation.” Furthermore, he called on “Moscow to immediately halt its military actions and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Feb. 25: In a statement after its vote in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Norway wrote that a veto by Russia, “the aggressor itself ... ‘undermines the purpose of the Security Council’” and that “in the spirit of the Charter, Russia as a party should have abstained from voting on this draft Resolution.” Norway’s statement also called for parties to respect their humanitarian obligations and condemned “Belarus for facilitating this attack.”
Feb. 24 at 12:41 a.m. EST: Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki condemned Russia’s actions as “a criminal aggression on Ukraine” and called on Europe and the free world to stop Putin. He further tweeted, “European Council should approve fiercest possible sanctions. Our support for Ukraine must be real.”
Feb. 23 at 11:07 p.m. EST: President Klaus Iohannis condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, calling it a “very grave breach of international law, and of Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity.” He further stated that “this will be met with the strongest reaction by the international community inflicting massive consequences and a most severe cost.”
Feb. 25, 8:25 a.m. EST: Iohannis stated that Romania stands with the people of Ukraine and fully supports Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, adding, “[t]he same goes for the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.”
As of Feb. 24, 12:45 p.m. EST, Serbia has not responded to the invasion. On the evening of Feb. 23, President Aleksandar Vučić announced a response to the crisis within 48 hours, and on Feb. 24 he met with American, British, German, French and Italian ambassadors to Serbia in addition to announcing a National Security Council session for the afternoon.
Feb. 25 at 2:10 p.m. EST: Vučić stated that Serbia respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and considers Russia’s actions to be wrong but will not impose sanctions against Russia. “[Russia was] the only country not to have imposed sanctions against us in the 1990s. They also supported our territorial integrity in the United Nations. We must not forget that,” Vucic said, in reference to Russia’s refusal to recognize the independence of Kosovo—a former province of Serbia.
Feb. 24: The Spanish government condemned the military invasion of Ukraine as “a completely unjustified aggression, of unprecedented gravity, and a flagrant violation of international law that puts global security and stability at risk.” It demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return of Russian troops to the internationally recognized territory of Russian. Spain reiterated its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and is coordinating with EU and NATO partners for a response to Russia. President Pedro Sánchez will be attending the European Council meeting. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has called the invasion a “blatant violation of international law.”
Feb. 22: Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson condemned “in the strongest terms Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine,” stating that “Russia’s acts are also an attack on the European security order.” She stated that the acts “will be met by a united and robust response in solidarity with Ukraine. Russia alone is responsible for human suffering.”
Feb. 24: Andersson, Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist held a press conference on Feb. 24 discussing Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Andersson described the invasion of Ukraine as “unprovoked, unlawful and indefensible,” stating that it was “a threat to international peace and security, a flagrant breach of international law and the European security order.”
Feb. 24 at 2:09 a.m.: Switzerland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said that it “condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms.” It “urge[d] Russia to immediately cease military aggression and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory” and views the invasion as a “gross violation of international law.” It called for international humanitarian law to be respected and expressed concern “about the danger to innocent civilians.”
Feb. 28 at 9:09 a.m. EST: Swiss President André Simonazzi announced that even after taking into account Switzerland’s historical “neutrality and peace policy” it could not remain passive in the face of “Russia’s progressive military aggression against a sovereign European country” and an “extremely serious violation of international law.” Simonazzi confirmed that Switzerland would adopt the latest EU sanctions policy in full and will supply Ukraine with relief supplies.
Feb. 23 at 11:53 p.m. EST: Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Russia’s actions, saying Putin launched an “unprovoked attack” on Ukraine. He said in a prerecorded televised address that Western countries would impose massive sanctions to “hobble” the Russian economy.
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, the U.K. ambassador called for peace and respect for the U.N. Charter. She recommitted to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and democratic freedom, as well as the founding U.N. principle of peaceful coexistence as neighbors. Additionally, she called for deescalation in the face of sanctions and emphasized that the time for diplomacy is closing.
Feb. 24: In an address to the nation, Johnson said Russia’s attack on Ukraine “is an attack on democracy and freedom in East Europe and around the world. This crisis is about the right of a free, sovereign independent European people to choose their own future and that is a right that the U.K. will always defend.”
Feb. 25: In an “unprecedented departure” from long-observed diplomatic protocol, Pope Francis paid a personal visit to Russia’s ambassador in Rome to express his concerns over the war and humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
Feb. 24 at 11:49 a.m. EST: African Union leaders released a statement calling on Russia to “imperatively respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine.” The chair of the African Union and chairperson of the African Union Commission urged both Russia and Ukraine to “establish an immediate ceasefire and open political negotiations without delay, under the auspices of the U.N., … in the interests of peace and stability in international relations.”
Feb. 27: The Egyptian foreign minister called for an emergency Arab League meeting at the delegate level to discuss developments in Ukraine.
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, Kenya reiterated its earlier remarks in support of Ukraine, calling attention to the potential humanitarian and refugee crises that are likely to stem from further violence and a wider conflict. Kenyan Ambassador to the U.N. Martin Kimani called for commitments from Russia and NATO to agree on a system that is sensitive to the concerns of all but protects Ukraine’s sovereignty. Finally, he reminded the council that the U.N.’s structure stems from the ruins of World War II and gives the U.N Security Council members significant responsibility.
Feb. 25: In a statement after its vote in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kenya compared the situation to “the hasty and ill-considered intervention in Libya a decade ago” and called for use of the U.N. Charter’s “tools for the pacific settlement of … disputes.” Kenya also stated that “the precious fabric of our charter lies torn and trampled, and threatened with further harm if there is no urgent and visionary leadership with faith in diplomacy pushing in the opposite direction.”
Feb. 21: During a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine, Ghana expressed their support for “the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, the borders with which it joined this United Nations as a bona fide Member. We do not support any actions that violate Ukraine’s sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity.”
Feb 21: During a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine, representatives from Gabon stated that they view the situation in Ukraine as “an attack on the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Gabon expressed that their country “is attached to a rules based international order, one based on the Rule of Law, not the law that the strongest will prevail.”
Feb. 24 at 8:49 a.m. EST: The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign affairs said it “Received with surprise reports of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.” Nigeria did not condemn Russia’s actions.
Feb. 24: The government of South Africa, in a statement issued by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, called on Russia to “immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine in line with the United Nations Charter, which enjoins all member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice are not endangered.” It proclaimed a “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states” and also expressed support for the Minsk agreements and called on the U.N. Security Council to “play its role” in working toward a peaceful resolution. It called on “all parties to resume diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the concerns raised expressed [sic] by Russia.”
East and Southeast Asia
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, China’s ambassador called for restraint, stating that the “door to a peaceful solution is still open.” He also blamed the conflict on “many factors” and expressed a hope for rationality and dialogue.
Feb. 24: Chinese state media organs had a slightly delayed response but have now acknowledged the conflict, while placing significant blame on the United States. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying declined to refer to the attack as an “invasion,” even after she was pushed by reporters. In one response, she stated that “the U.S. has been fueling the flame, fanning up the flame, how do they want to put out the fire?”
On Twitter, Hua stated that “#China stands for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. The legitimate security concerns of all parties should be respected and addressed. The door for peacefully resolving the #Ukraine issue through dialogue and negotiation should not be closed.” She also recently released statements condemning the Taiwanese response.
An article in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, notes that “China is concerned about the development of the Ukraine issue and its position on the Ukraine issue has been consistent, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call upon request on Tuesday. Any country's legitimate security concerns should be respected and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, Wang said.” It continued, “All parties concerned should continue dialogue and consultation, and seek reasonable solutions to address each other's concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
Feb. 25: In a statement after its abstention from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China stated that “we believe that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states should be respected” but that any Security Council response should be careful to not add “fuel to the fire.”
Feb. 25 at 7:48 p.m. EST: Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, held a press conference during which he refused to call the Russian aggression an invasion and stated that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected” and “the principles of the U.N. charter should also be jointly upheld.” The spokesperson stressed the “complex and special historical context” of the situation and expressed understanding of Russia’s “legitimate concerns on security issues.”
Feb. 28: At a press briefing, Wenbin stated that China and Russia are “strategic partners” but not “allies.” He also called for respect for “[a]ll countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity” but resisted further urges to criticize Russia. Wenbin argued that “unilateral sanctions that lack the basis of international law” only threaten to make matters worse and affirmed that “China and Russia will continue to conduct normal trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”
On Feb. 24 at 10:00 a.m. EST: Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi released a statement condemning Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. The statement emphasized that Russia’s attacks “clearly infringe upon the Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitute a serious violation of international law prohibiting use of force, and are a grave breach of the United Nations Charter.” Hayashi also urged Russia to cease military operations and withdraw its forces from Ukraine. Japan reportedly will also “make efforts to improve the situation in cooperation with the international community, including G7, standing with Ukraine and its people.”
Feb. 24, 2022 at 8:37 a.m. EST: The Malaysian government issued a statement expressing sadness about the recent developments in Ukraine. The government also stressed its effort to ensure the safety of Malaysians in Ukraine.
Feb. 24: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for the cessation of Russian military action and said, “Singapore strongly condemns any unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country under any pretext. We reiterate that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected.”
Feb. 24, 5:39 a.m. EST: President Moon Jae-in said during a National Security Council meeting that “Ukraine’s sovereignty, territory, and independence must be respected.” South Korea also committed to joining multilateral economic sanctions—possibly including export controls—in an effort to restrain armed aggression and seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis. South Korea is explicitly not considering any unilateral sanctions. Jae-in said that “[t]he use of force that causes innocent casualties cannot be justified under any circumstances.”
Feb 24, 5:46 a.m. EST: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted a condemnation of the invasion and announced an emergency evacuation plan for Taiwanese citizens in Ukraine led by representative offices in Poland and Moscow. Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou accused Russia of “changing the status quo” and has pledged to take action to assist Ukraine, as well as impose export controls against Russia in accordance with the U.S. and other “like-minded” partners. She said that the invasion violates Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, and undermines the efforts of the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to the current crisis while also jeopardizing regional peace and stability. Ou emphasized that Taiwan “opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by force or coercion, and calls on all parties concerned to continue to resolve their differences through peaceful and rational dialogue.”
Feb. 23: Suriya Chindawongse, the permanent representative of Thailand to the U.N., released a statement that expressed support for finding a “peaceful settlement to the situation through dialogue in accordance with the U.N. Charter and international law” that upholds the “principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Central and South Asia
Feb. 23: At a U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis, India’s ambassador expressed concern about the destabilizing effect of violence, called for deescalation and called on all parties’ interests “to be taken into account.” The ambassador also expressed concern for international law and Indian nationals living in Ukraine before a final plea for dialogue and restraint by all sides.
Feb. 25: In a statement after its abstention from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India expressed regret that “the path of diplomacy was given up” and must be returned to.
Feb 24: The government of Kazakhstan remained largely silent regarding Russia’s actions in Ukraine, with the lone exception of the Kazakh Embassy in Kiev, which issued a series of instructions to Kazakh citizens regarding their evacuation options from Ukraine. Kazakhstan is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In January, unrest in Kazakhstan led to the deployment of approximately 2,500 Russian troops to serve as a “peacekeeping force.”
Feb. 25 at 7:21 p.m. EST: NBC News reported that Kazakhstan denied a Russian request that it send troops to assist the invasion of Ukraine. Citing unnamed Kazakh officials, the report also said that Kazakhstan is not planning to join Russia in recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic.
Feb. 24: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Moscow on Feb. 23 for a scheduled visit. He described the trip as an “exciting” time to be there. His visit will continue as planned, and he is set to return to Pakistan on Feb. 24. In advance of the trip, Khan suggested that he was concerned about the situation in Ukraine—he reportedly told Russia Today on Feb. 22 that he hoped “this Ukrainian crisis is resolved peacefully.”
Feb. 25 at 2:02 a.m. EST: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Taliban released a statement calling for “restraint by both parties.” The statement also said that “[a]ll sides need to desist from taking positions that could intensify violence. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in line with its foreign policy of neutrality, calls on both sides of the conflict to resolve the crisis through dialogue and peaceful means.”
Feb. 24 at 5:19 a.m. EST: Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian tweeted that the “Ukraine crisis is rooted in NATO’s provocations.” In the same tweet the foreign minister also called for a cease-fire and a political and democratic resolution. Amirabdollahian did not mention Russia in his statement.
Feb. 24 at 9:23 p.m. EST: The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will grant Ukrainian spouses of Iraqi citizens entry visas into the country.
Feb. 24 at 5:23 a.m. EST: Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid condemned Russia’s actions and stated that Tel Aviv is “ready and prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Ukraine.” He also reported that Israel believes it is not too late for more diplomacy.
Feb. 24: In a statement after phone calls with the foreign ministers of both Russia and Ukraine, Qatar’s minister of foreign affairs “expressed Qatar’s concern over this escalation and its repercussions.” He also “urged all parties to exercise restraint,” engage in “constructive dialogue,” and ensure the safety of civilians as a top priority.” Qatar also “affirmed Qatar’s…commitment to the United Nations Charter and the…obligations under the Charter to settle international disputes by peaceful means [and] refrain from the use of force.”
Feb. 24: The Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has called on all its citizens present in Ukraine to contact the embassy as soon as possible. Saudi Arabia has not yet released a statement on Russia’s military activity in Ukraine. However, on Feb. 23, Saudi Arabia’s deputy permanent representative to the U.N. urged those involved in the conflict to find a diplomatic solution. The permanent representative also called for the “full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2202, which was unanimously adopted in 2015 and calls for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the simultaneous withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides to create a security zone.”
Feb. 22: The Syrian government supported Putin’s decision to recognize the two “separatist” regions in Ukraine as independent. In comments carried by the state-run Syrian News Agency, Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad reportedly said that the government of President Bashar al-Assad “will cooperate” with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.
Feb. 24: In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “This attack, beyond destroying the Minsk agreements, is a grave violation of international law and poses a serious threat to the security of our region and the world.” The ministry called the invasion “unjust and unlawful” and reported that “our support for the political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine will continue.”
United Arab Emirates
Feb. 24: In front of the U.N. Security Council, the United Arab Emirates’s ambassador affirmed the importance of good-faith dialogue and diplomatic efforts, supported a return to the Minsk agreements, affirmed the importance of international law and the U.N. charter, and pointed out humanitarian obstacles. The ambassador also urged for involved states to allow for civilian movement and the provision of humanitarian aid.
Feb. 26: In a statement after its abstention from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UAE “expressed particular alarm at the consequences for civilians present in Ukraine, as well as for the region, and for the international community” and called for the “unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.” Despite the UAE’s abstention, Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh reiterated “that the UAE is committed to the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of all member states.”
Feb. 24: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement “Join(ing) our partners in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Morrison also said that “Vladimir Putin has fabricated a feeble pretext on which to invade. Russia’s disinformation and propaganda has convinced no one.” He reiterated support for Ukraine, and provided a brief description of sanctions and other actions Austria plans to take in response to Russia’s aggression.
Feb. 25: Morrison rebuked China’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “At a time when the world was seeking to put additional sanctions on Russia, they have eased restrictions on the trade of Russian wheat into China,” Morrison said. “At a time when Australia, together with the United Kingdom, together with the United States and Europe and Japan, are acting to cut off Russia, the Chinese government are following through on easing trade restrictions with Russia. That is simply unacceptable.”
Feb 24: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardeen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nania Mahuta condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “New Zealand strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and joins the international community in calling on Russia to immediately cease military operations in Ukraine,” Jacinda Ardern said. “This is an unprovoked attack by Russia. By choosing to pursue this entirely avoidable path, an unthinkable number of innocent lives could be lost because of Russia’s decision.” Foreign Affairs Minister Mahuta added, “New Zealand has consistently expressed our strong support for international efforts to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis diplomatically. Given Russia has demonstrated a disregard for these efforts they must now face the consequences of their decision to invade.”
Feb. 24: The spokesperson for the Argentinian president held a press conference and released a statement condemning the Russian use of force in Ukraine. The statement outlines that Russia must adhere to the principles of the U.N. with full respect for international law, the sovereignty of states, territorial integrity and human rights. It also reiterates the need for international organization and community involvement. At the press conference, the spokesperson repeatedly declined to speculate about what the country’s position might be if the conflict intensifies or if other countries decided to intervene.
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, Brazil’s ambassador called the attack on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty unacceptable. He called for Security Council action to restore peace and assist negotiations. The ambassador also reiterated the importance of the Minsk agreement and the OSCE’s monitoring mission.
Feb. 24 at 11:15 a.m. EST: In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for the immediate cessation of hostilities and start of negotiations leading to a diplomatic solution to the issues in Ukraine. Notably, the statement provides that negotiations should include “the legitimate security interests of all parties involved.”
Feb. 25: In statements before and after its vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brazil condemned the ongoing war, called for U.N. action to create dialogue and expressed regret that the resolution, which “would send a decisive message in favor of respect for international law[,]” was defeated but stressed that the Security Council still had a mission and role to play, concluding that “[t]he security concerns voiced by the Russian Federation in the past few years, particularly regarding the strategic balance in Europe, do not give Russia the right to threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another State. The Security Council has the legitimacy to debate and, with the good will of all, adopt measures to redress this dangerous situation.”
Feb. 27: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro declined to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Departing from the Brazilian government’s official stance, Bolsonaro said Brazil would remain neutral in the conflict.
Feb. 22 at 7:16 p.m. EST: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland released a statement outlining Canada’s “clear and present stake in this conflict.” She wrote,“Russia’s actions are a violation of international law and of the rule-based international order. This is an attempt to replace that rules-based international order with a world in which might makes right, where the great powers have the authority to redraw the borders, dictate the foreign policies, and control the governments of sovereign democracies whose only fault is that they are smaller and that their militaries are not as powerful. … But if Russia does not pull back, it will be met with a firm and united response from Canada and our allies.”
Feb. 23 at 11:38 p.m. EST: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement calling on Russia to cease all hostile and provocative actions against Ukraine and to withdraw all military personnel from the country. Trudeau also announced that he plans to meet with G-7 partners and NATO allies to “collectively respond to these reckless and dangerous acts, including by imposing significant sanctions in addition to those already announced.”
Feb. 24: In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Russian aggression “in spite of repeated calls for dialogue by the international community with a view to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict, as established in Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations.” The press release called on Russia to “withdraw its troops, respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and avoid the loss of innocent lives and material damage, respecting the Geneva Conventions.”
Feb. 23: In front of the U.N. Security Council, Mexico’s ambassador stated that the president of Mexico will not accept Russia’s attack on Ukraine and reminded the Russian delegation of its recent promise not to invade Ukraine.
Feb. 23 at 11:17 p.m. EST: Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard released a statement rejecting the use of force in Ukraine and supporting the U.N. secretary general’s position in favor of peace. Ebrard’s statement was followed by a live video conference, during which Mexican officials affirmed Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity in accordance with internationally recognized boundaries. Mexico also condemned Russia’s false claim that it was never contemplating an incursion on Ukraine.
Feb. 24: During a press conference, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted that "Mexico is a country that has always supported peace and a peaceful solution to conflict…And we're hopeful that the situation in Ukraine will return to normal quickly, that there will be dialogue and it will be resolved."
Feb. 25: At a special session of the Organization of American States, Mexico’s permanent representative “strongly condemn[ed] the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine and demand[ed] that the civilian population be protected.” Mexico also joined a declaration signed by the majority of OAS members that “condemn[ed] the unlawful, unjustified, and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and call[ed] for the immediate withdrawal of the military presence and the cessation of any further military actions in that country,” “[c]ondemn[ed] the illegal recognition by the Russian Federation of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk[,]” and “call[ed] to the parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular with regard to the protection of the civilian population.”
Feb. 21: President Daniel Ortega backed Russia’s position on Ukraine. Ortega reported that Ukraine’s interest in joining NATO represents a threat to Russia. Ortega stated that “[i]f Ukraine gets into NATO they will be saying to Russia let’s go to war, and that explains why Russia is acting like this. Russia is simply defending itself.”
Venezuela (Administration of Nicolás Maduro)
Feb. 25 at 11:32 a.m. EST: The Venezualan Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs released a statement expressing its regret of “the mockery and violation of the Minsk Agreements by NATO promoted by the United States of America.” The statement also rejected “the application of illegal sanctions and economic attacks against the Russian people, which massively affect the enjoyment of their human rights.”