Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania
Riga, 20 April 2022
The Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania strongly condemn Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, which has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties. The Ministers welcome the ongoing ICC investigation into alleged war crimes. All perpetrators have to be brought to justice. Russia’s war of aggression and the gross and systematic human rights violations against the Ukrainian people have led to massive sanctions of the European Union against Russia, Russia’s suspension from the UN’s Human Rights Council and the expulsion from the Council of Europe.
We reiterate our call on Russia to immediately cease its aggression, withdraw its troops from the whole territory of Ukraine and to fully comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to uphold human rights. We reaffirm our unwavering support to Ukraine´s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
In parallel to its war, Russia has further intensified suppression of free speech, punishing its own citizens for their opposition to violence and repressing pro-peace protesters. The Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania express their support for human rights defenders, democratic forces, free media and independent civil society in Russia.
The Ministers strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest and sentencing of Russian human rights defenders and peace activists, such as Vladimir Kara-Murza, and call for their immediate release.