Poroshenko slams 'Russian aggression' in his UN address

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his country still faces threat from Russian-led aggression, calls for reform of UN Security Council to enable action against Russia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine addresses the attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York, September 29, 2015.

Updated Sep 30, 2015

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said in his address at the UN on Tuesday that Russia needs to be held responsible for its actions in Ukrainian territory, he also added that there is a need of reform for the UN Security Council, where Russia is a permanent member and holds power to veto any resolution.

"We must recognize that in the 21st century our organization lacks an effective instrument to bring the aggressor country to justice, which has stolen the territory of another sovereign state," Poroshenko said at the 70th UN General Assembly. 

"Seventy years ago the creators of the UN charter envisaged the mechanism of UN Security Council sanctions to be one of the restraining tools applied ion response to the breaches of peace and acts of aggression. However, they couldn't even imagine that these tools would be needed against the aggressor state that is a permanent member of the Security Council," Poroshenko added.

Following the ouster of Victor Yanukovich as president of Ukraine, Russia annexed Crimea, a move not recognised by the international community.

Shortly after, pro-Russian rebels started their independence campaign in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, this led to a conflict, which still continues to this day.

Ukraine has been blaming Russia of providing pro-Russian rebels with arms and troop and supporting their attacks against the Ukrainian government.

"For over 20 months, Russia's aggression against my country has been continuing through financing of terrorists and mercenaries, and supplies of arms and military equipment to the illegal armed groups," Poroshenko said, further reiterating the Ukrainian claims in his UN speech.

Russia has so far denied the allegations.

Nearly 8,000 people have died since violence broke out in the eastern regions of Ukraine, in the spring of 2014.

Poroshenko noted that the current status quo would be unimaginable in another democratic society and blamed the UN's lack of decisive action as the reason for the UN's inability to help his country.

A ceasefire agreement reached in early 2015 in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, failed to stop the fighting in the country, however another ceasefire agreement was reached in the beginning of September.

Poroshenko said Ukraine plans to honor the agreements made in Minsk, but also expects others to live up to their end as well. 

The Ukrainian president also questioned the credibility of Russian President, Vladimir Putin's recent calls for international cooperation against terrorism.

"Over the last few days we have heard a conciliatory statement from the Russian side, in which, in particular it called for establishment of an anti-terrorist coalition or warned of fire danger to flirt with terrorists. Cool story, but really hard to believe," Poroshenko said. 

"How can you talk about peace and legitimacy if your policy is war via puppet governments? How can you speak of freedom for nations if you punish your neighbor for this choice? How can you demand respect for all, if you don't have respect for anyone?",  Poroshenko added.

TRTWorld and agencies