Lord Ahmad presents UK support for Ukraine at UN General Assembly
Mr President, Mr Secretary General, Excellencies,
The UK is steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
We stand with the Ukrainian people. We defend their right to determine their own future.
President Putin’s decision to recognize the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” as independent states proves beyond any doubt that Russia has chosen the path of confrontation rather than that of diplomacy and dialogue.
Mr. Putin ordered his troops to enter Ukrainian territory. This amounts to a new invasion of Ukraine.
At every step, Russia has rebuffed diplomatic offers and rejected international commitments – commitments it has accepted and signed – instead it has decided to pursue a campaign to forcibly redraw the internationally recognized borders of the EU. Ukraine.
It is vital that we, the international community, respond.
We must understand the seriousness of the situation in which we find ourselves today.
Together, we must call on Russia to uphold the very founding principles of the United Nations, established precisely, as you yourself said, Mr. President, to end the scourge of war. Peace must prevail.
We must underscore the human cost and address the humanitarian consequences of any further Russian military action.
We know that would have a terrible impact on Ukrainians and Russians, both victims of an unnecessary war chosen by the Kremlin.
And so it is essential that we respond to Russia’s acts of aggression with solidarity, with force, including coordinated sanctions, to exact a heavy toll on Russia’s interests and its economy.
Yesterday the UK announced new sanctions targeting billions of Russian assets. This is the largest set of sanctions against Russia in British history, and it is part of our coordinated sanctions effort, alongside our allies.
But, Mr. President, we are clear, acting in concert with our allies, that this is only the beginning. If Russia continues its campaign of aggression, we have a new set of sanctions ready to use.
We urge the wider international community to join us in this effort. The Kremlin must understand the force of global condemnation of President Putin’s war of choice.
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that this very week marks 8 years since the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by Russia.
It also marks 8 years since Russia forcibly seized 10,000 square miles of sovereign Ukrainian territory, in clear violation of international law and Russia’s own international commitments.
And it is also 8 years since we, the General Assembly, recalled in resolution 68/262 the obligations of all States under Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain from resorting to threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. United Nations.
Yet 8 years later, tragically, here we are again. Faced with Russian aggression against the sovereignty of Ukraine.
As Secretary General Antonio Guterres has made clear, Russia’s unilateral actions are directly contrary to the principles of the UN Charter.
Their actions are a fundamental challenge to global peace and security, and a challenge to the international order that we all rely on – and just as importantly, it is up to all of us to protect it.
We must together unequivocally condemn this aggression and put a stop to President Putin’s expansionist ambitions.
We must hold Russia to its commitments under the UN Charter and tell it to step down – choose peace, not war – while sending a clear message to the Ukrainian people that in this hour of need we , the international community, the United Nations, stand by your side.