AFSA President’s Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2022
Contact: Executive Director Ásgeir Sigfússon |

Washington, D.C. – Statement from AFSA President Ambassador Eric Rubin:

As fervent believers in the primacy of diplomacy as the principal alternative to war and the human suffering it brings, we watched in horror as Russia shattered the post-WWI and post-Cold War settlements: no forcible change of borders, respect for every nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and rejection of historical grievances as a cause for aggression and violence.

As the Kenyan UN Permanent Representative so eloquently stated in the Security Council (, nearly every border of every country in the world does not conform to ancient boundaries and ethnic ties. Failure to uphold and respect all current borders is a recipe for bloody chaos and endless war.

At this wrenching time, AFSA will support our colleagues and their family members who have been evacuated from Embassies Kyiv and Minsk, as well as our remaining colleagues in Moscow who continue to serve under the most severe hardships imaginable. We are also deeply concerned for the welfare and safety of local national employees in Ukraine, and urge the Department of State and other USG agencies to do more to help them get to safety and provide the support they need. They should not be abandoned at this terrible time.

There will be opportunities for historical debate about the events leading up to this tragic crisis. But now we must focus on helping people in danger and support our country’s efforts, along with our allies, to defend international law, human rights and the international system that so many Americans have died defending.

Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, who did nothing to warrant this bloody attack, and who deserve the right to live in peace and freedom.

AFSA, the voice of the Foreign Service, is the professional association and labor union of the U.S. Foreign Service. Founded in 1924, AFSA represents 31,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees at the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.