Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presented a five-point “formula for peace” between himself and the invasion of Russia during Wednesday’s United Nations General Assembly debate, identifying the first step as “punishment.”
Zelensky directed Forum from Kyiv, a move that the assembly voted to allow by 101 members to seven. Zelensky named the seven countries — the communist states of Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, and Nicaragua, plus Syria and the Russian proxy Bashar al-Assad — and accused them of being afraid of his words.
Ukraine is currently embroiled in a nearly nine-year war with Russia that began with the conquest and colonization of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the beginning of the ongoing conflict in the Donbass region, with pro-Russian separatists proclaiming the creation of two “sovereign states.” In February, Russian leader Vladimir Putin that he would recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk republics of Donbass as two states and that he would send the Russian armed forces to Ukraine at their request to “de-Nazify” the Zelensky government, elected as “pro-RussianA candidate in a free and fair election in 2019 expressed displeasure at being labeled a Nazi, citing his Jewish heritage.
Putin’s efforts in Ukraine have stalled since the bombing of the greater Kyiv region in the first half of the year. Ukrainian forces recently claimed to have recaptured several southern municipalities. Putin announced a partial military mobilization, including conscription, on Wednesday, aimed at reversing what outside observers believe is a significant decline in Russia’s field success in the war.
Zelensky discussed the war before the General Assembly from the perspective of a five-point plan that he said could be universally applied to any struggle to achieve peace. Before unveiling the plan, he insisted to those urging Ukraine and Russia to try talks that the time for diplomacy was over and that talks had already taken place, but failed.
He pointed out that “we held 88 rounds of talks in various forms to prevent this war, only from the beginning of my presidency until February 24 this year.”
Zelensky claimed that his peace plan necessarily required a major reform of the United Nations, and later questioned the logic of permanent seats on the Security Council for rogue states like Russia, and the impotence of UN agencies.
“I will present a formula that could work not only for us, but for anyone who might find themselves in similar circumstances as we did,” he said. It is a formula that punishes crime, protects life, restores security and territorial integrity, guarantees security and provides determination. There are five preconditions for peace.”
Punishment, he pointed out, was the first step in his plan to end the wars.
Zelensky called for global sanctions against Russia, from preventing Russian tourists from entering free countries to preventing Russia from participating in international forums such as the Security Council, including also trade sanctions for impoverishing the Russian economy.
Cutting trade and relations with the aggressor is part of the peace equation. All this is punishment. As long as the aggressor is a party to the decision-making process of international organizations, it must be isolated from it – at least until the aggression continues. “Reject the right to vote. Deny the rights of delegation. Revoke the veto – if it is a member of the UN Security Council” .
He continued, “Citizens of the aggressor country should not be allowed to enjoy tourism or shopping in the lands of those who value peace, but should be encouraged through visa restrictions to fight their state’s aggression.” “Punish for inciting evil. A special court should be established to punish Russia for the crime of aggression against our state. This will become a signal to all “potential” aggressors, that they must value peace or be held responsible by the world.”
Zelensky’s other four peace elements—protection of life, “restoration of security and territorial integrity,” “security guarantees,” and “determination”—offered less specific courses of action for other states. Zelensky encouraged other countries to include Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism in their war and to seek military treaties with Ukraine that would deter Russia from taking further action—though he did not mention NATO membership as a specific ambition.
Zelensky concluded by condemning not only Russia’s allies, but the countries that had chosen not to support either side.
“Those who talk about neutrality, when human values and peace are under attack, mean something else. They are talking about indifference – everyone to themselves,” said the Ukrainian president. They pretend to be interested in each other’s problems. They take care of each other formally. They only sympathize with the protocol. That is why they pretend to protect someone, but in reality, they are only protecting their own interests.”
This is what creates the conditions for war. This is what must be corrected in order to create the conditions for peace.”