Speaking to a high-level session of the UN General Assembly via video link on Wednesday, Zelenskiy said a special international tribunal should be set up for his aggression so that it “(a) signals to all ‘would-be’ aggressors. They must value peace or the world must take responsibility.”
In an assembly chamber filled with formally dressed leaders and diplomats, Zelensky was projected onto two giant screens wearing an olive green T-shirt and spoke in English while sitting casually at a desk.
All participants are required to speak in person at the meeting, but they were given special permission last week by an assembly resolution in support of India to speak remotely, despite opposition from Russia.
Zelensky accused Moscow of using oil and gas as “energy weapons” that are causing a crisis in the quality of life in many countries.
Russia’s energy export prices should be capped to end its blackmail, he said.
Zelensky’s speech came after a blow to Russia, which has lost some 3,700 square miles of territory seized for a counteroffensive, and its president, Vladimir Putin, called up some 300,00 reservists to bolster the armed forces.
“Ukraine exercised its right of self-defense in accordance with the UN Charter and showed force on the battlefield,” Zelenskyy said.
He said that as long as aggression continues, Russia’s veto and voting rights should be removed.
Zelensky supported the restructuring of the UN Security Council and included “representation of those who are not heard”.
“It is an imbalance that Africa, Latin America, most Asia and Central Europe follow the right of veto,” he stated.
Russia is a permanent participant of the council for “some reason”, but he wanted to know why “not Japan, Brazil or Turkey, or India, or not Germany, or Ukraine” are permanent Members.
Zelensky provided details on human rights violations, torture and executions.
He accused Russia of not being sincere in its offer to negotiate because it only wanted to be able to stay in the territories it held and strengthen its offensive capabilities.
As part of what he called the “Peace Plan”, he asked for military assistance, including offensive weapons, long-range systems, and air defense.
Earlier on Wednesday External Affairs Minister of India S. Jaishankar met Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Schmihl who asked India to “join forces” to prevent Russian aggression.
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