Stand Against Kremlin Aggression – Poroshenko to UN

The General Debate continues at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. A meeting of the Security Council on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and a discussion of a global treaty on migrants, titled the Road to Marrakesh, were held by visiting diplomats.

The Estonian representative, President Kersti Kaljulaid,  who was one of the approximately 30 speakers, brought up the situation in Ukraine.

“Ongoing military aaggression in Eastern Ukraine continues in the very heart of Europe. The Crimean Peninsula remains occupied, as do parts of Georgia, and there is no resolution of the protracted conflicts in Africa. It is hard to tolerate these sad issues. Yet it is no solution to mince words to make ourselves feel better. For those in distress, recognition of their true situation, together with the humble recognition that we cannot do much more than commiserate, is offering at least some hope. Some hope that one-day things could be better,”

The schedule for the Delegation from Ukraine is very tight. Ukrainian officials had breakfast with representatives of the business world. Lunch was accompanied by several bilateral meetings. One accomplishment was the signing of a visa-free agreement with Uruguay. However, they failed to reach an understanding with Hungary. Its officials have once again voted against holding a Ukraine-NATO commission in October.

“The meeting was extremely complicated. Since Hungary is upping the ante both in the public sphere and in its political discussion… In fact, the logic which they are using in the discussion reminds me a lot of the Russian logic. The logic of alleged existence of nationalist sentiments, the logic of alleged conscious persecution of the Hungarian community,” Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

Prior to the debates, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with his American counterpart, Donald Trump. Also, during a meeting with UN Secretary General – Antonio Guterres – Poroshenko presented a note on the end of a friendship agreement with Russia. This was followed by Poroshenko delivering his speech to the General Assembly.

“The United Nations shall not be silent when the values and principles rooted in its charter and the entire border of international law are being violated by the veto country. It is due to the lack of the relevant punishment that after Georgia came Ukraine, after Litvinenko came Skripal and after Aleppo came Idlib. The Kremlin has no intention to stop, Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko pointed out that the illegally annexed Crimea has been turned into a Russian military stronghold and asked the UN to support the resolution on the peninsula’s demilitarization. Ukraine’s leader also spoke about the Kremlin’s political prisoners. In particular, about Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh whose lives are in danger due to their hunger strikes. Poroshenko also talked about Ukrainian soldiers currently held hostage by Russian led militants in Donbas.

“Russia’s aggressive policy, as well as its arrogance in using lethal weapons, multiply the threat. In this regard, Ukraine counts on your active support for the relevant resolution during this session. Since the first day of the illegal occupation of the Crimea, Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians have faced repression and discrimination. There are many cases of murders, torture, harassment, and arrests under fabricated charges,” Poroshenko said.

The main message that Ukraine’s President tried to convey was that the UN should not remain silent. Moscow cannot be stopped unless the international community demonstrates a united position.