"Putin's goal is to erase the identity of Ukraine"
Antony Blinken stated that President Putin’s overall objective was to erase Ukraine’s identity as an independent, sovereign nation and absorb it into Russia.Source: B92, Tanjug
"This war is an attack not only on Ukraine, but on the international rules-based order that seeks to defend international peace and stability, and uphold, in the words of the United Nations Charter, “the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small”, Blinken pointed out at a virtual panel session on "A Just and Lasting Peace in Ukraine", ahead of tomorrow's opening of the second Summit for Democracy.
He reminded that the victims of Russian aggression are not only Ukrainians, but people all over the world, according to the statement of the State Department.
"We all know that for peace to be just, it must uphold the principles at the heart of the UN Charter: sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence. And for peace to be durable, it must ensure that Russia can’t simply rest and refit its troops, and then relaunch the war at a time more advantageous to it", said the US Secretary of State and added that it is not only about the future of Ukraine, but also about the future of the international order.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba stated that Russia aims to destroy the world order based on international law and the UN Charter.
"I would like to emphasize that the Ukrainian people will accept peace only if it guarantees the cessation of Russian aggression in full, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, and the restoration of our state’s territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders," said the Ukrainian minister, noting that the peace plan was recognized and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
As he added, Russia resorts to nuclear blackmail and threats, as well as threats to ecological and energy stability and food security, and aggression is followed by heinous crimes, where it is believed that tens of thousands of civilians were killed in Mariupol.
"Aggression is accompanied by heinous crimes, as evidenced by the murders in Bucha and Irpin, as well as the Russian torture chambers in Kherson and Izium. The exact number of civilian Ukrainians killed in Mariupol is unknown, but it is believed to be in the tens of thousands", Kuleba said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Antonio Tajani, pointed out that Italy is strongly engaged in supporting Ukraine, but also in stopping Russian influence in the Western Balkans and in Africa.
"It’s important to work all together in defense of our values – democracy, human rights – but also we need to have a strategy not only in Ukraine, but also for stopping Russia. We need to work hard also in the Western Balkans. Italy is strongly engaged, of course, for supporting Ukraine at military level and for – in support to the population, but we are working hard in the Western Balkans for stopping Russia. We need more Europe. We need more Italy in this region because the danger is to leave the Western Balkans in Russian hands. It’s very, very important", Tajani pointed out.
Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen pointed out that the war in Ukraine is a challenge to stability and world order, but that we should not ignore the dangers such as Iran's involvement in the war.
"The war within Ukraine is a clear challenge to the world’s stability and order as we know it. We will not ignore the dangers. Iran’s involvement in the war within Ukraine must be a wake-up call to all. Iran’s IRGC is responsible for the use of advanced UAVs against civilian targets in Ukraine. Such transfers are a violation of Iran’s obligations and go against the values and spirit of democracies around the world", he said.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called on the European Council to work on strengthening the protection of children in Ukraine.
"I call upon the European Council to work now to strengthen the protection of children in Ukraine. We must do everything we can, starting by documenting human rights violations committed by the Russian troops against these children, including forced transfers and deportations", Colonna concluded.