OECD closes Moscow office, moves to penalise Russian attack in Ukraine

By Melissa Coade

February 28, 2022

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has terminated an accession process with Russia – which had been postponed in 2014 after Russian president Vladimir Putin moved to annex Crimea from Ukraine – for his latest military violence against the democratic state. 

The move from the OECD council is part of an urgent review of all cooperation with Russia, after condemning president Putin’s large-scale military invasion of Ukraine last week

“The OECD Council condemns the large scale aggression by Russia against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms as a clear violation of international law and a serious threat to the rules-based international order,” the global policy forum said in a statement. 

“We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”

Latest news reports suggest Russian troops are close to entering the capital of Kyiv as assaults from sky, land and sea occur across the country. 

On Friday Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law, appealing to fellow citizens to take up arms

Since then, almost 400 people, including civilians, have been killed and the European Union joined other NATO allies like Australia by announcing it would finance the donation of weapons to Ukraine.

Putin has responded to the international solidarity for Ukraine by putting his nuclear forces on high alert, meaning he can activate a nuclear threat within 15 minutes. He made the announcement during brief remarks to his top military officers during a televised exchange, noting that he regarded the sanctions placed against Russia by NATO, the US and its allies as ‘illegitimate’ and did not appreciate the ‘aggressive statements directed’ at Russia by ‘senior officials of leading NATO countries’.

The OECD, which works with more than 100 countries, promotes policies to preserve individual liberty and improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. Its council on Friday said it would stop inviting Russian ministers to meetings, and review the participation of Russian representatives in committees.

The council also plans to assess the economic and social impact of the war against Ukraine, including the conflict’s effect on the energy market and related policies with the leaders from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). 

This week. oil company BP said it would cut its 20% stake in Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft. Oil prices shot up over the weekend, despite news that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed peace talks ‘without preconditions’ would occur between Ukrainian and Russian delegates at the Belarus border.

The Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian newspaper, has recently reported that Belarus will lend its troops to the Russian invasion of Ukraine some time later today.

The OECD council said it would consider further measures to strengthen how the OECD could support the democratically elected government of Ukraine.


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