SCP statement regarding Russia’s war against Ukraine

2022 2022-02-25T16:01:00+0300 2022-02-26T13:42:31+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Statement by members of the Civic Solidarity Platform

25 February 2022

We, the undersigned members of the Civic Solidarity Platform, an international coalition of civil society organisations from the countries of the OSCE area, deplore Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in strongest terms and urge the OSCE executive bodies and all OSCE participating States to act on their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—a brazen violation of the Minsk Agreements, OSCE commitments, the Council of Europe obligations, UN obligations, and numerous international norms. The future of Europe and the entire world is at stake, and a united, immediate, and strong reaction is required.

We thank the OSCE leadership and participating States for their condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid stated on February 24, 2022,

“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. We call for the immediate cessation of all military activities.”

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated before the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on February 22, 2022:

“President Putin is testing our international system, he is testing our resolve. He wants to demonstrate that through force, he can make a farce of the international order.  In this moment, no one, not one of us, can stand on the sidelines. We must remain united in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity—and, indeed, of the right of all sovereign nations to choose their own paths, free from the threat of coercion, subversion, or invasion.”

The situation has rapidly deteriorated in the past two days, showing Russia’s leadership’s far-going aggressive plans and its complete disregard to numerous appeals to stop the invasion. These tragic developments call for immediate strong international actions to stop the war. It is time for words to give place to actions.

We, civil society representatives, cannot and will not stand on the sidelines. In solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues and the people of Ukraine, we put forward the following demands to OSCE participating States and all other concerned states:

  1. The immediate establishment of maximum economic sanctions against Russia, including disconnecting the country from SWIFT and a total trade embargo;
  2. Blocking assets and immediately initiating travel bans, including denial of visas, for Russian officials and their family members;
  3. Blocking assets and immediately initiating travel bans, including denial of visas, for Russian oligarchs and their family members;
  4. The provision of immediate large-scale financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine;
  5. The provision of equipment and weaponry to Ukraine.

In his statement announcing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Putin threatened the rest of the world in the event of intervention in defence of the Ukrainian people. We do not bow to this threat, and no one should. This cannot stand. We urge all OSCE participating States to continue to speak and decisively act against this aggression and the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. The future of Ukraine, Europe, and, indeed, the world, depends upon our solidarity and concrete action to condemn and stop Russia’s unprecedented violations of international norms and the sovereignty of Ukraine. The war must be stopped by strong, immediate, and united international action!

Let us reiterate: This act of aggression by Russia, despite being an OSCE participating State, constitutes a grave breach of its obligations under international law and fundamental OSCE principles and is fully incompatible with its participation in the OSCE itself.

In solidarity with the people of Ukraine,

List of organisations supporting the statement:

  1. Crude Accountability, USA
  2. Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Belarus
  3. Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Norway
  4. Human Rights Club, Azerbaijan
  5. Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Netherlands
  6. The Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, Belarus/Lithuania
  7. Swiss Helsinki Committee, Switzerland
  8. Legal Policy Research Centre, Kazakhstan
  9. Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Kazakhstan
  10. Public Foundation Notabene, Tajikistan
  11. Solidarus e.V., Germany
  12. Citizens’ Watch, Russia
  13. Center for Participation and Development, Georgia
  14. The Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims - GCRT, Georgia
  15. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, Serbia
  16. The Swedish OSCE Network, Sweden
  17. DRA - German-Russian Exchange, Germany
  18. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), Belgium
  19. Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP, international organization
  20. Albanian Helsinki Committee, Albania
  21. Bir-Duino Movement, Kyrgyzstan
  22. Human Rights Center Memorial, Russia
  23. Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Bulgaria
  24. Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Russia
  25. Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine
  26. Libereco, Germany/Switzerland
  27. Public Verdict Foundation, Russia
  28. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, North Macedonia
  29. Helsinki Association for Human Rights, Armenia
  30. Public Association “Dawn”, Tajikistan
  31. Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Poland
  32. Human Rights Center ZMINA, Ukraine
  33. Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights YUCOM, Serbia