“Russia tries to exchange peace in Ukraine for Ukraine’s freedom” – President Poroshenko at UN

President Poroshenko speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on 20 September 2017. Photo: president.gov.ua

President Poroshenko speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on 20 September 2017. Photo: president.gov.ua 

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Speaking at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stressed that Russia and Ukraine want completely different things in Donbas, that he wants to set up an international group to deoccupy Crimea, and that a reform of the UN is due. Here we publish the key points of his speech.

A UN reform is needed 

A comprehensive reform of the Security Council is long overdue. When the UN was set up, it was designed to maintain peace and security in the world based on principles of respect for sovereignty and integrity of borders. The founding nations, among those was Ukraine as well, aimed at securing the world where the sovereign right of free choice to be respected. So was this principle to be guarded by P5 [the US, Great Britain, France, Russia, China – Ed]in the name of sustainable peace and security.

That was the principle that happened to be so blatantly violated against my own country by one of the P5. This is the principle which is to be back on track upon whatever means and tools we have at hand. And Ukraine is a right place to invest into this noble endeavor, in the name of sustainable peace and security.[…]

Stealing other nations’ land… kidnapping people… conducting a hidden war…downing a civilian aircraft… spreading lies globally – is this the kind of behavior we expect from a permanent Security Council member? Russia is not a contributor to international security, but its biggest threat. Today Russia is, perhaps, the only country in the world that has conflicts – hot, frozen or potential – with almost all its neighbors.

Russia’s ignoration of international law must receive response

The occupied Crimean peninsula, according to the human rights activists, has turned into a territory of repressions. Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars get arrested even for posts in social networks or, as it was in case of Crimean farmer Volodymyr Balukh in December 2016, for putting a Ukrainian national flag on a private residence.

Persecution of the leaders of the Mejlis – the representative organ of Crimean Tatars, whose activities were banned by the Russian occupiers continues. Only a week ago, Ahtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis, was sentenced to 8 years of prison for standing up against the Russian occupation. Another Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Ilmi Umerov, with serious health problems, remains under house arrest, not even allowed to leave Crimea for medical treatment.

Russia blatantly violates the UN General Assembly Resolution 71/205 “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol”.

It keeps ignoring all requests of the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure proper and full access of international human rights monitoring missions to Crimea.

The Kremlin pays no respect to the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice imposed on it. The ICJ urged Russia to refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on the ability of the Crimean Tatar community to conserve its representative institutions, including the Mejlis, and to ensure the right for Ukrainian citizens to study in Ukrainian language.

Such disregard of Russia’s international obligations must receive proper response of the international community.

International group of friends of Ukrainian Crimea should be established

We need to strengthen the international regime of de-occupation of Crimea. The fact that at the highest international level – UN General Assembly – Russia was recognized as an occupying power, proves that we are on the right track.

The time has come to establish an international group of friends of Ukrainian Crimea to coordinate our common steps.

Ukraine and Russia strive for completely different things in Donbas

Ukraine wants peace and restoration of sovereignty over its territory. Russia wants control over Ukraine and undermines every effort to restore our sovereign control within Ukraine’s borders.

So, Russia tries to exchange peace in Ukraine for Ukraine’s freedom.

Ukraine will never accept that kind of a deal, nor will the international community. The latest hybrid “peacekeeping proposals” from Moscow are yet another example of Russia’s real ambitions – to legalize its proxies and to freeze the conflict forever. We would welcome any proposal that would bring peace to my country and remain convinced that a full-fledged UN peacekeeping operation is the only viable solution. The peacekeepers’ mandate should cover the entire occupied area, including the Ukrainian-Russian state border [and the] UN peacekeepers should be impartial. There is no place for aggressor’s personnel.

As long as the border is used as the main supply route for manpower and weapons to Donbas, there will be no peace in my country.

Результат пошуку зображень за запитом "map of donbas site:euromaidanpress.com"

Russia responsible for death of MH17 victims

Three years ago, the world was stunned when the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 carrying 298 people onboard was blown up in the skies over Donbas. Two investigations – technical and criminal – have been carried out. Those who were behind this horrible crime came from Russia. The missile came from Russia.

The death of the MH17 victims is on Russia’s conscience. The five countries comprising the Joint Investigation Team have decided to prosecute those responsible for downing of MH17 within the Dutch judicial system.

Ukraine calls to investigate international assistance to North Korea’s missile program

We strongly condemn nuclear tests and multiple launches of ballistic missiles by the North Korea and stand for reinforced measures to stop Pyongyang’s illegal activities and bring North Korea in line with the international legal framework. Let me reiterate Ukraine’s call upon the UN Security Council to undertake in-depth investigation into the development of the North Korean nuclear and missile programmes, in order to expose any possible foreign assistance to Pyongyang in this area.

Ukraine concerned about situation in Syria and Africa

What draws our special concern with regard to this bloody conflict is Russia’s use of the occupied Crimea as a military outpost for projecting power in Syria. As the war there rages on, huge numbers of Russian military assets are deployed to Syria by ships based in the Crimean harbors.

It is also deeply disturbing that the African continent continues to suffer from the numerous unresolved conflicts. As Chair of the Committee established by the Council Resolution 2127, we have actively supported regional and international efforts to stabilize the situation in the Central African Republic. As of January 2017, Ukraine assumed chairmanship of the 1591 Committee on Sudan, and we are determined to contribute to the international efforts to resolve the conflict in Darfur. African countries can fully count on Ukraine as its reliable friend.

Read also: Lithuania’s President: UN must rise up against Russia’s abuse or face irrelevance

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