Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Russia has not broken the spirit of the Ukrainian people nor our determination to support them – UK statement at the UN Security Council [December 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 6 December 2023.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

Thank you President and I thank ASG Jenča and Director Rajasingham for their briefings today and for the work of your teams. President, it’s now nearly two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, illegally and brutally.  Russia has killed Ukrainian men, women and children, and denied their future. Russia has injured men, women and children, and destroyed the hospitals where they might seek care.

Russia has destroyed civilian infrastructure: hospitals, schools, homes, playgrounds, theaters, roads and railways. And, as winter approaches, Russia is now targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. But Russia has not broken the spirit and resolve of the Ukrainian people. Nor our determination to support them.

So first, we commend the work of the Ukrainian organisations and volunteer networks who are providing life-saving humanitarian support. My Foreign Secretary met with some of these organisations during his recent visit to Ukraine and was struck by their courage and bravery. We will continue to support their work and we urge the UN and other colleagues to do the same.

Second, over 17 million Ukrainians need humanitarian assistance as we’ve heard. But Russia continues to deny and block humanitarian access to millions of Ukrainians living in the territories temporarily under Russia’s control leaving those people severely short of food, fuel and water as winter sets in. So we call on Russia to comply fully with its obligations under international humanitarian law and allow humanitarians to operate safely in these territories, and to deliver aid to millions of people who desperately need it.

Third, like others, we welcome the establishment of a maritime corridor in the Black Sea, which has now enabled Ukraine to supply five million tonnes of grain to global markets. Russia’s attempts to prevent Ukraine from exporting its grain by attacking its ports, holding the world’s food to ransom, have failed.

We will continue to work with Ukraine and other partners to ensure the security of the corridor and to protect global food security.

President, Russia has caused humanitarian suffering through its invasion of Ukraine. So we again urge Russia to end its war now by withdrawing from Ukraine’s internationally recognised territory.

I thank you.