One year ago, in the early hours of February 24, 2022, Russia decided to launch an illegal and unjustified war against Ukraine. This unprovoked aggression marked the return to Europe of a large-scale war that our continent had not experienced since the end of the Second World War. On this sad anniversary, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg pays tribute to the many innocent victims of this unwarranted conflict for which Russia bears full responsibility. In these tragic times, we reiterate our unwavering support for Ukraine and its people who are bravely fighting to preserve their independence and territorial integrity. By opposing Russian aggression, Ukraine is also defending security in Europe. We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian civilians, as well as the deliberate destruction of critical infrastructure in Ukraine, in particular schools, hospitals and energy facilities. These unacceptable acts constitute war crimes and must not go unpunished. In the dark hours when only the weapons speak, peace may seem distant and chimerical. But the guns will one day fall silent. We remain committed to supporting the path of rebuilding a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world, based on respect for international law and multilateralism. This war of aggression unleashed by Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, challenges the foundations of global peace, security and prosperity. Its political, security, economic and humanitarian consequences affect Ukraine directly, but also indirectly other countries and regions of the world. We reaffirm our commitment to a European continent where respect for international law, peace, democracy and the rule of law prevail. These are the foundations of our security which guarantee the peaceful coexistence of states. Since the first day of the Russian invasion, Luxembourg and its population have shown solidarity with Ukraine. Luxembourg will continue to provide substantial assistance to Ukraine in order to enable it to exercise its right to self-defense, as enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. It will remain at Ukraine’s side to help it cope with the humanitarian and economic consequences of the war and to meet its important needs in demining and post-conflict reconstruction. We are also witnessing the largest displacement of civilians in Europe since the Second World War. Luxembourg has taken its responsibility by offering immediate protection to those who had to flee their country. We salute the solidarity of all countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, municipalities and citizens who are unwavering in their support for refugees fleeing the horrors of war. Luxembourg, which in the course of the 20th century was itself twice victim of invasions, will never resign itself to a world in which force prevails over law. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, including the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, are flagrant violations of Ukraine’s fundamental rights to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, enshrined in international law and, in particular, the United Nations Charter. The restoration of peace and justice cannot be achieved without the prosecution of those responsible for the crime of aggression against Ukraine and for acts constituting war crimes. Luxembourg will continue to support the ongoing work, in particular by the International Criminal Court, to investigate war crimes committed on Ukrainian soil and will continue to support the creation of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression, to be established by an agreement between Ukraine and the United Nations. We are humbled by the courage of the Ukrainian people who defend their freedom, their identity and their culture every day, thus demonstrating their attachment to the fundamental values on which Europe was built. The granting of European Union candidate country status to Ukraine by the European Council on 23 and 24 June 2022 is a decisive step towards making Ukraine’s European perspective a reality and advancing its ambitious reform process, which has already been initiated by the authorities. Luxembourg stands ready to support this process at European and bilateral level.