Last Friday Albania and the United States of America submitted to the Security Council a draft-resolution on the act of aggression Russia has committed against Ukraine.
This act is in clear and blatant violation of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations — the obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
11 members of the Security Council voted yes, and only one country said no, the aggressor. 81 states co-sponsored it, cross-regionally. We thank all these states for their support and for standing up to defend principles and norms that make us friends and not enemies; that make us embrace peace, not aggression.
We are here in the General Assembly today to continue our efforts and rally the world to condemn aggression and hold the perpetrator accountable.
We stand in admiration before the courage of Ukrainians, men and women, defending their country, with whatever they have, in a war they did not choose.
They are in their right and will prevail, since they know that never in history did Russians tanks win when they were not welcome. This time will be no exception!
The Soviet Union is dead and nothing, no fantasy, no nostalgia, no war will never ever bring it back. We condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and call on it to abide by its international obligations.
As the Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated yesterday, “this war is more than just a war for the freedom of Ukraine. It is a struggle for the future of a democratic Europe, for the architecture of security and cooperation in our continent, as well as rules based international order”. Therefore, it concerns us all.
Russia had been warned: if you go to war, you will face severe and massive consequences. Albania has joined the concert of nations that has imposed sanctions and other restrictive measures against Russia. We have subscribed to the entire package adopted by the EU. We have closed our air space to Russian operators, have joined the individual sanctions on the freezing of assets of individuals up to the Russian President and which will apply to 654 individuals and 52 entities.
Economic sanctions include restrictive measures in finance, energy, transport and technology. Albania will no longer participate in any sports activity facing the Russian Federation until Russia ceases its aggression against Ukraine.
Also, given the worsening humanitarian situation, we have also committed to shelter refugees.
If we agree, willingly or by indifference, to let what is commonly agreed unravel, in front or our eyes as this act of aggression does, what respect do we have for what has been built during 76 years since the world war II?
What hopes we do cherish that we can continue to defend our rights, individually and collectively;
what assurance there is that we will not be condemned to be just a name plate or end up a dry number in this room?
Instead, if we think and maintain that, despite size, might or wealth, we are equal members and responsible actor of this Assembly of Nations, truly committed to uphold norms and values of our civilization working for peace, harmony and cooperation among nations, we need to show it.
Albania has cosponsored the draft Resolution and we call on all members States to do so.
Russia must immediately stop its military actions, withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence within its internationally recognized borders.