New Delhi :Thank you, President. I join others in thanking USG DiCarlo for her briefing. And, while we welcome President Zelenskyy’s participation again, we deeply regret the circumstances that brought him here today.
President, just over four months since the start of its illegal invasion, Russia’s war against Ukraine continues.
Russia continues to pummel Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region in an effort to seize full control.
And over the weekend, Russia launched an intense barrage of cruise missile attacks at targets across Ukraine, including hitting a shopping centre in Kremenchuk with over 1000 people inside.
We heard, from President Zelenskyy, the roll call of the recent dead, and extend our condolences to their families and their friends.
When the world calls for peace, for dialogue and adherence to international law, Russia answers with escalation, with missiles, and targeting civilians.
And, as I am sure will hear again today, more war propaganda, more lies, more disinformation.
Nor can we ignore the prominent role of Belarus in acting as a direct staging post for the attacks over the weekend and yesterday.
We praise the extraordinary bravery and resolve of the Ukrainian people in the face of this brutal assault on its sovereignty and territorial integrity — and its very existence as a country.
Ukraine is entitled to defend itself, as any of us would if our cities, towns and villages were subject to repeated relentless missile strikes by a foreign army focussed on wiping out our existence.
So, we will continue to support Ukraine to exercise this right of self-defence, and to re-secure its privileges and rights under the UN Charter.
We, yet again, reiterate the calls of the international community for Russia to end its illegal invasion, withdraw outside Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders and enter into dialogue and negotiation.
At a time when we are facing the existential threats of climate change and food insecurity following a global pandemic, Russia must end its illegal war, and its blockade of Ukraine’s ports.
Thank you, President.