UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador is demanding that Russia cancel its recognition of the independence of separatist regions in the east, immediately withdraw its “occupation troops” sent there by President Vladimir Putin and return to negotiations.
Sergiy Kyslytsya told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Monday that Ukraine called the rare evening session to protest and condemn Putin’s “illegal and illegitimate” decision to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the U.N. Charter.
Despite Putin’s actions, he said, “the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine have been and will remain unchangeable regardless of any statements and actions by the Russian Federation.”
He said Russia’s occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk ruin negotiating frameworks and “may be considered” as Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk Agreements aimed at restoring peace to eastern Ukraine, and its disregard of the Normandy format comprising Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany which has tried to resolve the eight-year war in the east.
“We are committed to a political diplomatic settlement and do not succumb to provocations,” Kyslytsya said.
Kyslytsya urged the Security Council to support Ukraine and take action to restore international peace and security, but that will be virtually impossible because of Russia’s veto power in the council.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, sought to project calm, telling the country: “We are not afraid of anyone or anything. We don’t owe anyone anything. And we won’t give anything to anyone.” His foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, would be in Washington on Tuesday to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the State Department said.