Baltic and Finnish Foreign Affairs Committee heads in Ukraine

Delegations from the foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland are currently in Ukraine to jointly show their support for Ukraine and to gain a deeper understanding of the current situation of the war there.

“This visit is a demonstration of support for the Ukrainian people who have made enormous sacrifices and continue to do so to preserve their independence, territorial integrity, and democracy. Our goal is to help Ukraine in any way we can to win the war and in dealing with its consequences,” declared the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the four countries.

The Chairs condemn the Russian Armed Forces' serial violation of international law and the perpetration of war crimes in Ukraine. Since February, Russia's unprovoked military attack has forced twelve million Ukrainians to flee their homes and over five million have had to flee the country.

“Human rights groups and international monitoring missions have reported on atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces against Ukrainian civilians, who have been tortured, raped, murdered and held in mass in so-called filtration centres, or have been deported. This is unforgivable,” state the heads of the delegations.

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The four Chairs emphasise that the price of the aggression must be raised as high as possible for Russia. “The European Union has adopted seven sanctions packages to put pressure on Russia. The last sanctions package, which entered into force on July 21, banned the import of Russia’s other major export article – Russian gold – and forbade one of Russia’s largest banks – Sberbank – from conducting transactions outside Russia. But this is not enough. We will continue making proposals for strict and efficient sanctions in the next sanctions packages,” the Chairs promised.

Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Finnish delegations will meet their Ukrainian colleagues and inspect the damage caused by Russian armed forces in Irpin, Borodyanka, and Chernihiv, and visit the common grave for war victims in Bucha. The visit is also backed by the Foreign Affairs Committees of Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic, though they do not have members present in Kyiv.

The four delegations are headed by the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu of Estonia Marko Mihkelson, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania Laima Andrikienė, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima of Latvia Rihards Kols, and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Eduskunta of Finland Jussi Halla-aho.

"Despite Russia's efforts to subjugate Ukraine and demoralize the Ukrainian people, Ukrainians steadfastly and confidently continue to defend their country against the invaders. Ukraine will win this war because justice and the will of the people are on its side. We must do everything in our power to help achieve this goal - the strategic defeat of Russia - as quickly as possible. For the benefit of the Ukrainian people and all of us," said Kols.

The full text of a joint statement in English is attached to this story.

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