Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pictured on February 23, 2023.
New York – Today, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, which was held on the occasion of the first anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western countries called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský emphasized that the Czech Republic has from the beginning stood by Ukraine, which wants a just peace and has the right to defend itself against Russian aggression. At the same time, he called on member states to jointly protect the UN Charter. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, said that any new peace proposals should be in line with the requirements of Thursday's UN General Assembly resolution.
The adopted resolution calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Meanwhile, China, which abstained, called for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and the start of peace talks.
“Ukraine will defend itself as before and Ukraine will win. Putin will lose much sooner than he thinks,” Kuleba told the fifteen-member Security Council today. He then called on members to observe a minute of silence for the victims of Russian aggression. Immediately, the Russian ambassador to the UN Vasiliy Nebenzya called for a minute of silence to honor all the victims of “what has happened in Ukraine since 2014”. The members of the UNSC then stood up a second time after a short hesitation.
Czech Foreign Minister Lipavský spoke in his speech about Ukraine's right to defend itself and the need to protect the UN Charter. He said that the Czech Republic is one of the countries that have helped Ukraine the most, pointing to the reception of almost half a million Ukrainian refugees. “Together we must prevent Russia from dragging us into horrors similar to those we remember from the world wars. Together we must defend the UN Charter. We must ensure that war crimes are held accountable under international law,” he said. “Russia considers other countries – their freedom, democracy or even statehood – only as booty that it can appropriate within the framework of its colonialist and imperialist ambitions,” he said, adding that the freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders “cannot be negotiated.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his speech that Russia had killed tens of thousands of Ukrainian men, women and children, driven more than 13 million people from their homes, destroyed more than half of Ukraine's electricity grid, bombed more than 700 hospitals and 2,600 schools, and deported to Russia at least 6000 Ukrainian children. Blinken praised the “unyielding resistance of the Ukrainian defenders” and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not achieved his goal of conquering and conquering Ukraine.
According to the head of American diplomacy, the UN Security Council should not create a “false equation” by calling on all sides to end the fighting. According to him, Russia will use any break in the fighting to consolidate control over the occupied territory and replenish its forces for further attacks. “No member of this council should call for peace and at the same time support Russia's war against Ukraine and the UN Charter,” Blinken said. be the protection of civilians. “It is estimated that 17.6 million people, or almost 40 percent of the population of Ukraine, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” he said. “More than eight million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe,” he said, adding that 5.4 million people in Ukraine are internally displaced. According to Guterres, post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the war has affected millions of people.
In his speech, British Foreign Minister James Cleverly emphasized, among other things, that it is also necessary to think about the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. According to him, it must not remain vulnerable to attack. “We all want this war to end with a victory for Ukraine and a just and lasting peace based on the UN Charter,” he said.