Russian Federation must withdraw from Ukraine; World must stand firm in condemnation of Russia and support for Ukraine

25 Feb, 2022 | Press Releases

Rome, Brussels, 25 February 2022

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) condemns the illegal aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation and demands Russian forces withdraw, leaving in full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The Russian invasion in the early hours of Thursday violates several international laws and norms, not least article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations and the 2014-2015 Minsk Agreements. There is no basis or justification in law or fact for Russian President Putin’s assertions that Russia is acting in self-defence, or in defence of Russian citizens living in Ukraine. These unilateral acts by the Russian Federation have commenced a brutal conflict in Ukraine and risk plunging Europe and the world into all-out war. 

The European Union and its member States, as well as all other members of the international community, have a responsibility to act decisively to address the actions of the Russian Federation; to prevent an escalation into global conflict; and to mitigate the effects of the invasion, including providing support to the thousands fleeing its consequences. 

To that end, NPWJ calls on the EU, its member States and other members of the international community, individually and collectively, to: 

  1. Continue to condemn, in no uncertain terms, the illegal acts of the Russian Federation. The worst thing the world could do, whether now or in the coming days and weeks, is adopt a policy of appeasement under the guise of avoiding global conflict. We know where the path of appeasement has led Europe in living memory.
  2. Use all available diplomatic channels to urge the Russian Federation to withdraw from Ukraine, including the so-called disputed territories, and allow full restoration of Ukraine’s political sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the same time, those channels should be used to remind the Russian Federation that international humanitarian law applies throughout the territory of Ukraine. The Russian Federation must comply fully with those laws. The world must ensure full accountability for any violations.
  3. Provide any and all financial and military support necessary for the Ukrainian authorities and people to defend themselves in their hour of need. 
  4. Open your borders to those fleeing the fighting in Ukraine. Now is not the time to impose quotas or other restrictions; now is the time to demonstrate the meaning of European solidarity. At the same time, this should not come at the expense of support to others who have had to leave their countries and seek refuge in Europe. 
  5. To the President of Ukraine, we reiterate our call to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and harmonise domestic legislation with international humanitarian and criminal law before it is too late. We recognise that Ukraine’s priorities right now must be protection of itself and its citizens; we believe, however, that ratification of the Rome Statute is both an element of that protection and an important demonstration of Ukraine’s commitment to human rights, especially during this time of crisis. 

NPWJ takes this opportunity to express our full support for and solidarity with friends and colleagues in Ukraine and with the people of Ukraine as a whole. We are standing with you in this dark hour and in the challenging days and weeks ahead. We also wish to express our appreciation and support for colleagues, civil society and people in other countries, including in Russia, who are raising their voices against the illegal acts of the Russian Federation and pledging their own solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine.

For further information, please contact Alison Smith, Director of International Justice, on or Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator on