Joint statement of the Nordic-Ukrainian Summit in Oslo
At the second Nordic-Ukrainian Summit in Oslo on 13 December, the Prime Ministers of Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden and the Presidents of Finland and Ukraine issued the following statement:
We, the leaders of the Nordic countries, reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine. We convey our deep respect for and recognition of the persistence and spirit of the Ukrainian people, soldiers and leadership. After facing Russia’s aggression for almost ten years, including more than 650 days of full-scale war, Ukraine continues to demonstrate extraordinary determination in exercising its inherent right of self-defence.
Recognizing that Ukraine’s resistance is also a fight for our common security and fundamental principles of international law, the Nordic countries have provided extensive military and civilian support and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Since Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion in February 2022, the combined value of Nordic support amounts to approximately 11 billion euros. The Nordics will continue to provide extensive military, economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine, individually and collectively as Nordics, as well as in the framework of international formats and platforms. The Nordic countries will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
We condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. We stand firmly together with our allies and partners in response to Russia’s war. Russia must end its aggression and withdraw its forces immediately and unconditionally from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
The Nordic countries remain committed to increasing the international pressure to counter Russia’s ability to continue its illegal war, including through sanctions. We will continue to cooperate with global partners to act against circumvention of the sanctions.
Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Nordic countries have made solid and robust military contributions to Ukraine, including air defence systems, artillery systems and munitions, Leopard main battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, field medical support and mine clearance equipment. Furthermore, we have supported extensive training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Nordic countries will continue their military support to Ukraine within the US-led Defence Contact Group framework. The Nordics will actively explore areas of additional support, including, but not limited to Maritime Security, Air Defence and Air Force, including Combat Air Craft. We will pay particular attention to prospects for Nordic cooperation within defence sector capacity building as part of NATO´s CAP programme. The Nordic countries and Ukraine will also work on deepening defence industrial cooperation.
The Nordic countries are ensuring long-term support for Ukraine. We stand united in bolstering Ukraine’s resilience and capacity to defend itself and remain ready to support Ukraine today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
The Nordic countries reiterate their support of the Joint Declaration of the G7 Leaders of Support for Ukraine as of 12 July 2023 and agree to start bilateral negotiations with Ukraine on security commitments to be formalized in close coordination with G7 allies and partners.
We are appalled by numerous reports, including from the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, that have found evidence that Russian authorities have committed and continue to commit indiscriminate attacks against civilians and critical infrastructure, and the war crimes of torture, wilful killing, rape and other sexual violence, and deportation of children. We call on Russia to respect international law, including international humanitarian law, also on temporary occupied territory, and for the immediate release and return of all interned, forcibly displaced, and illegally deported civilians, including children, safely to Ukraine. The Nordic countries will contribute to countering propaganda, disinformation and destructive information influence of the Russian Federation.
Accountability must be ensured. All those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law as well as violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable. We welcome on-going international efforts to ensure accountability and reiterate their support for the investigations of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and encourages further efforts to hold the Russian leadership to account for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. In this regard, we also commend the work of the Register of Damage for Ukraine as a step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russia’s aggression.
The Nordic countries are strong supporters of President Zelenskyy’s initiative for a comprehensive, just and sustainable peace. The Ukraine Peace Formula, based on the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in line with the UN Charter, seeks to achieve this. The Nordic countries are actively engaged at all existing levels of cooperation with Ukraine, including co-leadership, on implementation of the ten points of the Peace Formula, in close cooperation with countries from other regions of the world. The Nordic countries will continue to strengthen efforts to ensure as wide as possible cross-regional engagement in the Peace Formula process, including participation in the inaugural Global Peace Summit.
We find it impressive that, after years of defending itself against Russia’s aggression, Ukraine manages to maintain a focus on the global consequences of Russia’s war. Russia continues its cynical approach to global food security in one of the world’s major breadbaskets, including by attacking Ukrainian ports and threatening free trade in the Black Sea. This has consequences both in Ukraine and globally. Ukraine has made relentless efforts to address the challenges of global food insecurity, including through the «Grain from Ukraine» humanitarian initiative. This deserves our full and continued support. We welcome Ukraine’s persistent effort to provide a safe alternative maritime corridor through the Black Sea and thus substantially contribute to global food security. We will strongly support Ukraine’s efforts to restore its capabilities as a maritime power.
The future of Ukraine and its people lies within the Euro-Atlantic family. As we emphasized in the Joint Statement of the Nordic-Ukrainian Summit in Helsinki, the Nordic countries will continue to support Ukraine on its path towards future NATO membership. Ukraine has the right to independently choose its own security arrangements. Already before membership, the security of Ukraine is of great importance to the Alliance as demonstrated by our intensified political and practical cooperation.
The Nordics commend Ukraine for its clear commitment to reform even as the country is defending itself against Russia's aggression. Ukraine has been taking significant steps to combat corruption, decentralize, and create an open and transparent economy, which are essential steps towards a prosperous and reconstructed Ukraine. Significant parts of the Nordic civilian assistance have been channelled through trusted international partners such as the World Bank, EBRD and the UN Family. We commend the work of these organizations, including their focus on sustainability, transparency, good governance and anti-corruption. The Nordic EU countries reiterate their support of opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and look forward to the European Council meeting on 14-15 December 2023, in this regard. Together with the EU and international partners, the Nordics will continue to coordinate and align our support to Ukraine’s ongoing reform efforts and support Ukraine on its European path.