Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday outlined to world leaders his five non-negotiable conditions to achieve peace with Russia, nearly seven months into the war that has seen thousands killed.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video message broadcast to the UN General Assembly in New York, Zelensky called for Russia to be punished for launching an invasion against its neighbor Ukraine on February 24.
“A crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand punishment,” Zelensky said in his address, which led to a standing ovation from delegates at the UN.
“Ukraine wants peace. Europe wants peace. The world wants peace. And we have seen who is the only one who wants war. There is only one entity among all UN member states who would say now, if he could interrupt my speech, that he is happy with this war, with his war.”
As part of his five conditions, Zelensky said that Russia must be punished for waging war on Ukraine, through further sanctions and by the UN stripping Moscow of its powerful role as a permanent Security Council member. Russia’s status means it has the power to veto any resolution or decision, whatever the majority opinion is within the council.
Zelensky also said Ukrainian lives must be protected and that the country’s internationally recognized borders be respected.
His fourth and fifth conditions included a call for new security guarantees for Ukraine and the world to unite in calling out Russia’s armed aggression.
Zelensky warned that Russia may plan to use this winter to prepare its military forces for a renewed assault on Ukraine.
The president said the partial mobilization showed that Moscow was not serious about peace talks. Previous negotiations with Ukraine and Russia to end the fighting had failed, he noted.
Zelensky also renewed his country’s call for more Western-made weapons to help it fight Russia.
“”For us, this is a war for life. That is why we need defense support, weapons, military equipment and shells. Offensive weapons, a long-range one is enough to liberate our land, and defensive systems, above all, air defense. And we need financial support, to keep internal stability and fulfill social obligations to our people,” Zelensky said.
Following the speech, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that the bloc would apply additional sanctions on Russia.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 military reservists to fight in the war, in the country’s first partial mobilization since World War II.
The move sparked dozens of protests in Russian cities, leading to more than 1,000 arrests for opposing the war.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told Newsweek in an interview on Wednesday that the U.S. was at risk of becoming a combatant in the Ukraine conflict.