First of all, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk expressed his hope that this three-day discussion would help to take a broader look at the occupation of Crimea and, in general, at russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war against Ukraine, which has been going on for almost a decade.
“The aggressor is waging war by barbaric medieval means, completely disregarding international humanitarian law and the rules of warfare,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, stressing that the Defence Forces continue to fight the aggressor, gradually liberating Ukraine from the invaders: “We will liberate our land and restore Ukraine to its internationally recognised borders of 1991”.
He also stressed that russia illegally occupies the seat of one of the five members of the United Nations Security Council. “The UN peacekeeping system is paralysed and cannot make any effective decisions, because the aggressor has a veto,” said the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine.
At the same time, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed that russia does not choose means and turns into a weapon everything that can be used to put pressure on Ukraine, its partners or the international community.
“russia has significant oil and natural gas deposits. Trade in them ceases to be trade, but becomes a tool for undermining market prices with the hope of internal destabilisation in consumer countries,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, stressing that this is exactly what happened in Europe last year, but fortunately, ways were found to minimise russian blackmail.
As of today, he said, russia is carrying out a naval blockade of Ukrainian ports, blocking the delivery of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products to world markets, which means that the threat of a global food crisis is quite real. At the same time, in addition to the above, russia possesses one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world and does not hesitate to directly threaten to use it.
“russia is a source of political instability for its neighbours, a source of frozen conflicts that can erupt at any moment,” the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine stressed, noting that russia’s war against Ukraine cannot be simply stopped by starting negotiations. “Freezing the war and the lack of fair punishment for those who unleashed it and those who have been committing crimes in the occupied Crimea or Donbas for ten years, who have committed and are committing war crimes after the full-scale invasion – all this will only mean preparations for a new phase of the war,” he said.
“russia’s war against Ukraine is not a matter of two countries or a regional European conflict. This conflict concerns the whole world, because now war has returned to the world as an instrument of interstate relations, and the world today does not have an effective system of conflict prevention or resolution,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, stressing that if russia is not stopped, the world will see more and more wars and terrorist attacks, and there will be fewer and fewer opportunities for an adequate response: “The Hamas terrorist attack on Israel only confirms this thesis. The russian regime has given a clear signal to all the world’s dictatorships and terrorist cells – the system of international law is weak, and the world is not able to resist you.”
The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that Ukraine and the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi had offered the world a Peace Formula – a ten-point plan supported by all friends and allies. “This Formula is designed not just to return peace to Ukraine and Europe – it is focused on preventing war in the future, on the beginning of reformatting the global security system, on creating a new secure and just world order,” he stressed.
“Ukraine will definitely win, and together with Ukraine, the whole world will win, striving to live in peace and respect for the universal principles enshrined in the UN Charter,” Ruslan Stefanchuk concluded.