VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, President of Ukraine, noting that unity can prevent wars, said: “This Hall has seen many wars, but not as an active defender against aggression.” While the next world war is seen as a nuclear war — a conflict between States “on the highway to nukes” — he recalled that Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal. Recalling that the Russian Federation became the “keeper” of nuclear weapons, he added: “The history shows that it was Russia who deserved nuclear disarmament. Terrorists have no right to hold nuclear weapons.” He further turned to Moscow’s weaponization of food, recalling that since the war, ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have been blocked. Expressing appreciation to those States that supported the “Grain from Ukraine” programme, he added: “United we made weapons turn back into food again.” Also pointing to the creation of a temporary sea export corridor from Ukrainian ports, he said it is alarming to see how “some of our friends in Europe play out solidarity in a political theatre”. While they may seem to play their own role, they are helping to “set the stage” for Moscow, he emphasized.
He went on to say that the Kremlin has weaponized oil and gas to weaken leaders of other countries, adding that Moscow is now weaponizing nuclear energy. “Look what Russia did to our Zaporizhzhia power plant — shelled it, occupied it and now blackmails others with radiation leaks,” he stated, while recognizing that the global security architecture offers no response or protection against such threats. “There is no accountability for radiation blackmailers so far”, he added. Turning to the abduction of children, aimed at putting pressure on families and societies, he said that kidnapping and deportation have never been a part of Government policies before. Reporting that Kyiv has evidence of hundreds of thousands of children kidnapped by Moscow in the occupied territories and later deported, he emphasized: “We are trying to get children back home, but time goes by. What will happen to them?” Those children are taught to hate Ukraine, while ties with their families are broken, he stressed, adding: “This is clearly genocide.”
When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there, he stressed, spotlighting that each decade the Russian Federation starts a new war. Pointing out that parts of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova remain occupied, he also said that Moscow “has almost swallowed Belarus” and is threatening Kazakhstan and the Baltic States. Also observing that the goal of the war in his country is to turn Ukraine’s land, people and resources against those present, he said that many seats in the General Assembly Hall “may become empty if Russia succeeds with its treachery and aggression”. “We must act united to defeat the aggressor and focus all our capabilities and energy on addressing these challenges,” he stressed.
Turning to Ukraine’s 10-point peace formula, presented in 2022 in Indonesia and supported by 140 States, he emphasized that that for the first time in modern history the international community has a chance to end aggression on the terms of the country that was attacked. To this end, Kyiv has launched several meetings between national security advisers and diplomatic representatives and held talks on its implementation in Hiroshima, Copenhagen and Jeddah, he reported, also announcing the preparation of a global peace summit. Pointing to “attempts to make some shady deals behind the scenes”, he underscored: “Evil cannot be trusted — ask [Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny] Prigozhin if one bets on [Russian Federation President Vladimir V.] Putin’s promises. Please, hear me. Let unity decide everything openly.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine told world leaders in the UN General Assembly that alongside its ongoing nuclear threat, Russia is also weaponizing essentials like global food and energy markets, and using them “not only against our country, but all of yours as well.”
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