President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated this at the High-level Meeting on Action for Peacekeeping held on Tuesday, September 25, within the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
"The temporary occupation of parts of Ukraine’s territory continues to cause suffering to Ukrainian people and undermine regional and international peace and security," the president said.
In this regard, he recalled that the number of conflict-related casualties in Ukraine reached over 35,000, including more than 10,000 people killed and almost 25,000 injured. The number of internally displaced persons exceeded 1.5 million.
"I am sure that a UN-mandated multinational peacekeeping operation with the only clear goal to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity could be a decisive factor in ending sufferings of Ukrainian people," Poroshenko noted.
According to the president, it would greatly assist in making Russia fulfil the Minsk agreements in good faith.
"I am grateful to Germany, France, and the U.S. for mobilizing international support of this initiative," Poroshenko said.
At the same time, the head of state stressed that Russia is against the peacekeepers. "One reason for that is that the Kremlin is afraid. It is afraid that the peacekeepers will see Russian military officers and military equipment all over the occupied territory. They are also afraid of losing control over Ukrainian border with Russia – a hostage taken by the Kremlin to keep infiltrating its military in Donbas," Poroshenko said.
“Is it not for the UN to stand up to the challenge with courage?” the president noted. He recalled that Ukraine’s request to deploy the UN PKO in the occupied Donbas had not been addressed yet.
“We see it as a test for the ability of our Organization to act in a challenging conflict situation. A test that still remains to be passed,” Poroshenko summed up.
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