Poroshenko once again told about the Kremlin’s armed aggression against Ukraine, the issue that remains relevant for the world community to this day.
On February 20, the President of Ukraine addressed the UN General Assembly during a meeting in New York.
Consequences of Kremlin armed aggression and terrorist support
Poroshenko stated while addressing to the delegates and representatives of the UN countries that despite the fact that the war has been going on for 5 years, Putin “does not demonstrate any intention to stop.”
“Almost every day we lose our best sons and daughters. First, Russia seized the Crimea, then turned the Donbass into the battlefield, and then extended its aggression to the Black and Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. As a result, 44,000 square kilometers, or 7% of the territory of Ukraine, are still occupied,” the president said.
Poroshenko focused on the fact that the aggressive policy of the Russian Federation in the Crimea and Eastern regions of Ukraine has already cost the world about 13,000 lives, counting the 298 dead passengers of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down by pro-Russia insurgents by using the “Buk” missile system.
“More than 1.8 million residents of the Crimea and Donbass were forced to leave their homes. When the peaceful life of people from these regions turned into a nightmare, marked by fear and terror,” he said.
The fate of Ukrainian sailors, the incident in the Kerch Strait
Also, Petro Poroshenko brought over a thousand requests from residents of Ukraine to the General Assembly in New York asking the UN to intensify pressure on the Russian Federation to resolve the issue and demand to release the prisoners of war who were illegally detained as a result of the incident in the Kerch Strait.
“Today I brought with me an appeal to the UN Secretary-General with a request to put pressure on Moscow for the release of Ukrainian sailors. It was signed by thousands of Ukrainians. And I speak on behalf of them all. We sincerely count on your support,” Poroshenko said.
The President reminded the world community of the fact that, according to the norms of the Geneva Convention, the captive sailors are prisoners of war, not criminals.
The peacekeeping mission is an open and relevant issue for Ukraine
Poroshenko reminded delegates and representatives that back in March 2015 he appealed to the UN Security Council with a request to dispatch a peacekeeping mission to Donbas. Then the vote on this issue was blocked by representatives of the Russian Federation.
“I still remain a firm supporter that the multinational peacekeeping operation under the UN auspices with a clear goal to stop Russian aggression and restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine can be a decisive factor for the return of peace to Donbass. And we are ready to discuss this initiative,” the president reminded.
Poroshenko also focused on the fact that there is no alternative to a peaceful resolution of the issue of the temporarily occupied territories of Donbass
The militarization of Russia continues and aggression is growing
Poroshenko also drew the attention of delegates to the fact that since the beginning of 2019, the Russian Federation has already deployed in the temporarily annexed Crimea 32.5 thousand of military personnel, 88 artillery systems, 52 multiple launch rocket systems, 372 armored vehicles, 113 combat aircraft, 62 combat helicopters, 6 combat ships and 6 submarines equipped with “Kalibr” cruise missiles.
“We cannot exclude the possibility of deployment of nuclear weapons in the (Crimean) peninsula. The infrastructure has already been created. Russia has used the last 5 years to restore and modernize it,” Poroshenko explained.
Poroshenko also cited information regarding the Kremlin’s support for insurgents in the Donbas region: 496 tanks, 938 armored vehicles, 128 multiple rocket launchers, 776 artillery systems, and about 35,000 of irregular combatants. At the moment, 2100 military of the regular army of the Russian Federation is reinforcing the Donbas insurgency.
“The total number of Russian armed forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border is more than 87,000 of military personnel. Military experts clearly determine that an armed group on the border with Ukraine is ready for a tactical strike force offensive. It has nothing to do with defense. They are designed for a military strike. The Kremlin is preparing for this, so further escalation to the level of a full-scale war is no longer so unrealistic,” Poroshenko concluded.
Only together the international community can restrain Kremlin
Poroshenko expressed confidence that an armed aggression initiated by the elites inside the Russian Federation can be stopped only by the joint efforts of the entire international community. He gave an example when in 1939 the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for an act of aggression against Finland which was a correct and balanced approach, according to President Poroshenko’s words.
“So maybe it’s time to put Russia back in its proper place? First of all, we must deprive Russian of veto power, at least when it comes to the issues of Russian aggression against Ukraine. I ask this assembly to support us – to be on our side when it comes to counter the imperial ambitions of the Kremlin. Only together can we make Russia – the occupant and aggressor – to accept responsibility and stop the aggressive actions. And we believe that the UN should play an important role in this. When back in 2018 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres named the issue of resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as his priority we felt hope. Unfortunately, serious changes did not happen, but they need to be achieved,” Poroshenko summed up.