- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On 23 January 2023, I travelled to Brussels and attended a Joint Meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council (UNIC) & Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships (PCNP), as a Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA).
We were welcomed by NATO PA President Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, followed by Michal Szczerba, NATO PA Vice-President and Co-Chair of UNIC. After the introductory remarks, the NATO PA were provided with an update on the situation in Ukraine. There were various meetings throughout the day including important issues such as NATO’s Security and Defence Assistance to Ukraine. We also had a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg who is NATO Secretary General.
Eleven months have passed since the start of Russia’s renewed unprovoked, unjustified and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, intentionally violating international law and threatening the rules-based international order. As the NATO PA demonstrated most recently at its annual session in Madrid, its members remain united in their unreserved condemnation of Russia’s atrocious actions, in their unwavering solidarity with their colleagues in the Verkhovna Rada, and in their steadfast support for Ukraine as long as it takes to prevail.
The NATO PA has unequivocally declared that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one. Russia and its accomplices, notably the Belarusian and Iranian regimes, must be held accountable for all their crimes. I welcome the Assembly’s call for the creation of a special international tribunal to prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression. We believe this must include representatives of the highest authorities of Russia responsible for making the decision to invade Ukraine. Russia must also be obliged to make full reparations for damage, loss or injury under international compensation mechanisms.
On 12 December 2022, I asked a question to Minister of State to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on NATO.
‘Is the Minister aware that NATO has set up a centre for democratic resilience? Will he make sure that the Government do not undermine that work or duplicate it?’
The Minister responded:
‘Yes. That is a very good point, and we will enhance and emphasise the work in a perfectly seamless, joined-up approach.’