written the 28/02/2022
The Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities the Council of Europe, held an extraordinary meeting on 28 February 2022 and adopted the following Declaration:
1. condemns in the strongest terms, the armed attack on Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which constitutes a blatant breach of international law and the Statute of the Council of Europe;
2. urges the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations in Ukraine and withdraw its troops;
3. deplores loss of life, human suffering and destruction caused by the Russian aggression and expresses its support to Ukraine and its solidarity with its people;
4. condemns the recognition by the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent entities and the previous annexation of Crimea;
5. expresses its unwavering commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders;
6. underlines the fundamental role of the Council of Europe, as an organisation founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe, and ensure the peaceful coexistence of nations in Europe;
7. recalls, in this respect, that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress;
8. stresses that the armed attack on Ukraine by the Russian Federation constitutes an attack on the principles and values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law which the Council of Europe stands for, promotes and defends; and that this war makes it impossible for local authorities in Ukraine to operate and inflicts serious suffering on the Ukrainian people;
9. underlines the role of the Congress in contributing to the aim and objectives of the Council of Europe and in building up local and regional democracy, the values of which are deeply rooted in the Ukrainian nation, identity and institutions;
10. calls for the Russian Federation to respect its obligations under the Statute and under international law;
11. considers that it is impossible to co-operate with the Russian delegation in the Congress until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored; and
12. welcomes the Committee of Ministers’ decision of 25 February 2022 to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the Council of Europe in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and calls on the Committee of Ministers to take the necessary additional decisions as soon as possible so that the suspension also applies to the Congress.
The Bureau stresses that democracy, multilevel governance and human rights are stronger than war, stands firmly by Ukraine and its people, and calls on all local and regional communities of Europe, and beyond, to stay united and determined in their solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, its people and its authorities.