June 10, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presented a five-point “peace formula” between him and Russia during a UN General Assembly debate on Wednesday, characterizing the first step as “punishment”.

Zelensky address forum from Kyiv, a move that the Assembly voted down by 101 members to seven. Zelensky named and shamed seven — the communist countries of Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, and Russia and Russian proxy Bashar al-Assad’s Syria — accusing them of cowering at their word.

Ukraine is currently embroiled in a nearly nine-year-old war with Russia that began with the invasion and colonization of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing conflict in the Donbass region, where pro-Russian separatists have issued two “establishment declarations”. Sovereign States. In February, Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced that he was recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas as “people’s republics” and that he would send Russian armed forces to Ukraine to “de-Nazify” Zelensky’s government. Zelensky, elected “Pro-Russian” candidate for a free and fair election in 2019, expressed offense at being labeled a Nazi targeting his Jewish heritage.

Putin’s efforts in Ukraine have stalled since the bombing of the greater Kyiv area in the first half of the year. Ukrainian forces recently claimed to have recaptured several southern municipalities. Putin announced a partial military mobilization on Wednesday, including the accession, intended to reverse what outside observers see as a significant decline in Russia’s field success in the war.

Zelensky discussed the war before the General Assembly through the lens of a five-point plan that he argued could be universally applied to any conflict to achieve peace. Before revealing the plan, he urged Ukraine and Russia to try to negotiate, saying that the time for diplomacy was over and that negotiations had indeed been tried, but failed.

“We have had 88 rounds of talks in various formats to prevent this war, from the beginning of my presidency to February 24 this year,” he recalled.

Zelensky claimed that his peace plan would require significant UN reform, later questioning the rationale for permanent seats on the Security Council for rogue states like Russia and the toothlessness of UN bodies.

“I will present a formula that is not only for us, but for anyone who may find themselves in the same situation as us.” “It is a formula that punishes crime, protects life, restores security and territorial integrity, guarantees security and provides resolve. There are five prerequisites for peace.”

Punishment, as he pointed out, was the first step in a plan to end the war.

Zelensky called for universal sanctions on Russia, from bans on Russian tourists entering free states to preventing Russia from participating in international forums such as the Security Council, to trade sanctions aimed at impoverishing Russia’s economy.

“Blocking trade and relations with the aggressor is part of the peace formula. All this is punishment. As long as the aggressor has a decision-making party in international organizations, he must remain isolated from them – at least as long as the aggression lasts,” Zelensky argued. “Reject the right to vote. Disenfranchisement of representatives. Remove the right of veto – if it is a member of the UN Security Council.”

“Citizens of aggressor states who value peace should not be allowed to enjoy tourism or shopping in their territory, but should be encouraged through visa restrictions to fight their own state’s aggression,” he continued. “Punish for encouraging evil. A special tribunal should be created to punish Russia for crimes of aggression against our state. It will become a signal to all ‘would be’ aggressors, that they must pay the price of peace or be held accountable by the world.”

Zelensky’s other four elements of peace – protection of life, “restoration of security and territorial integrity”, “security guarantees” and “determination” – offer less specific actions for other nations. Zelensky encouraged other states to list Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its war on terror and to strike a military deal with Ukraine that would prevent further Russian action – although he did not name NATO membership as a specific aspiration.

Zelensky concluded by condemning not only Russia’s allies, but countries that chose not to support either side.

“Those who speak of neutrality, when human values ​​and peace are under attack, mean something else. They talk about indifference – each for himself, “said the President of Ukraine. “Here’s what they say. They pretend to be interested in each other’s problems. They officially care for each other. They sympathize only for protocol. And that’s why they protect someone. Although pretending to do so, in reality they only protect their interests.

“This is what creates the conditions for war. This is what needs to be rectified to create conditions for peace,” he concluded.

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