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‘We must hold Russia accountable for invasion of Ukraine,’ Polish FM tells UN

22.09.2022 21:55
Poland’s foreign minister has addressed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying that Russia must be held accountable for its invasion of Ukraine and pay compensation for the inflicted damage.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew RauPhoto: PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Zbigniew Rau delivered his remarks at a UNSC meeting on Ukraine on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

‘Russia committed horrific atrocities in Ukraine’

Poland’s top diplomat said: “The main reason behind today’s meeting is Russia’s decision to attack its neighbour, a fellow member state of the United Nations. Russia, despite being a permanent member of  the Security Council, whose responsibility for international peace and security should be even greater, decided to breach the most fundamental principles of our world order.”

He added: “The invasion has shown total disrespect and disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights law. The Russian forces have committed horrific atrocities: extrajudicial executions of civilians, enforced disappearances, torture or sexual violence, including against children.”

Terror is Russia’s ‘basic tactic’

Rau went on to say: “Unable to crack Ukraine’s military resistance, Russia turned to terror against civilians as a basic tactic of its war.  Each day brings new evidence and testimonies of Russian crimes committed in the occupied territories.” 

“We are shocked by the discovery of chambers of torture and mass graves containing bodies showing signs of torture and brutality in newly liberated Izyum," he added.

"With new reports coming, Izyum may become another symbol of Russia’s barbaric methods,” Poland’s foreign minister told the UNSC.

‘Poland continues to advocate for full accountability, compensation for damage’

Rau stated: “Against this dire background, Poland continues to advocate for full accountability for all the violations and compensation for the inflicted damage. We support the investigations by Ukrainian prosecutors and investigations initiated by other states.”

He also noted: “We have been closely cooperating with the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Office. We were among the broad group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s participating states who twice invoked the OSCE’s Moscow mechanism. We support the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry.”

“Also, we have opened a domestic criminal investigation into Russia’s war of aggression. This is a crime penalised under Polish law,” Poland’s top diplomat stressed, adding: “Finally, Poland has helped establish a joint investigation team operating within the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation framework, to collect and preserve evidence of the committed crimes.” 

‘Poland’s solidarity with people of Ukraine’

Rau also declared: “We should give due consideration to several initiatives put forward by Kyiv, such as a special tribunal for crimes of aggression committed against Ukraine and the international mechanism to provide compensation for damage caused by Russia.”

He further said: “Let me reaffirm Poland’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine who have shown remarkable courage, resolve and resilience. They have stood up for their country and their independence with bravery and determination.”

‘We must hold Russia accountable’

Poland’s top diplomat concluded: “Now it is our turn to stand up for the principles that protect us all. We must hold Russia accountable for the invasion and all the crimes committed in the course of this aggression.”

‘One man chose this war, one man can end it’: Blinken

Other speakers at the UNSC’s meeting on Thursday included the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who  slammed both Russia and Putin for the alleged war crimes perpetrated in Ukraine, and reaffirmed support for international and national efforts to investigate the atrocities, news outlets reported. 

Blinken also firmly denounced Putin’s nuclear threats, calling on every UNSC member to “send a clear message” to Russia that it must stop such threats. 

America’s top diplomat also urged every member of the UNSC to reject Russia’s “sham” referendums to annex parts of Ukraine.

Blinken said: “One man chose this war, one man can end it. Because if Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also took part in the UNSC session, leaving the chamber immediately after delivering his speech.

It came a day after Putin mobilised 300,000 reservists to assist in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend his country.

Thursday was day 211 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, press.un.orgpolitico.com

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.