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Russia's invasion of Ukraine 'must end, and not be converted into a frozen war,' Polish president tells UN

19.09.2023 21:45
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda told the United Nations on Tuesday that Russian aggression in Ukraine "must end, and not be converted into a frozen war."
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023.Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Addressing the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Duda said, as quoted by his office: "As a result of Russia’s full–scale aggression on Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives or suffered injuries, millions were forced to flee their own home country, and hundreds of millions worldwide are facing the specter of famine, and serious economic disruptions. Russia’s brutal aggression brought immense global problems in its aftermath. It put to a test international world order."

He added that the "costs of those barbarian actions, humanitarian, material and environmental, are incalculable and still growing."

"For long, world peace has never been as threatened, as it is today," he emphasized.

"We, Poles, know full well that peace is not to be taken for granted," Duda also said in New York on Tuesday. "September in the history of my home country is a special month. On 1 September 1939, Nazi Germany invaded my homeland, Poland. The Second World War broke out."

He continued: "On 17 September 1939, we received a blow from another direction. The Soviet Union also made an onslaught on Poland. In the wake of the alliance between Hitler and Stalin, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Poland lost its independence, was wiped out from the map of the world, and subjected to extremely brutal occupation."

'We understand the tragedy of Ukraine better than any other country'

Duda told his UN audience: "This is precisely why we understand the tragedy of Ukraine better than any other country in the world, and the tragedy of other countries experiencing the pandemonium of war. In the Second World War, 6 million of our citizens perished, including 3 million Polish Jews, and Warsaw, the capital of Poland was razed to the ground."

He also said that Polish history "stands as a testament that even crimes and persecution are not able to suppress the true spirit of freedom, that freedom will finally prevail."

Duda further stated that "the logic of conquest, changing borders by force, disregarding the law, and denying the Ukrainian people their right to exist must be stopped."

'This brutal war must end'

"This brutal war must end, and not be converted into a frozen war," the Polish president told the UN General Assembly.

"This can only be done by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders," he asserted.

Duda stated: "Poland's position in the face of any war is clear and straightforward: we demand absolute respect for internationally recognized national borders. The inviolability of these borders is a fundamental element of the world order."

He warned: "Today, the victim is Ukraine. Tomorrow, it could be any one of us, if we do not follow these ironclad rules, if we do not insistently enforce compliance with international law."

He reaffirmed his country's support for "initiatives to hold Russia accountable for gross violations of fundamental norms of international law."

"We strongly support the work of the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice," Duda declared. "We support the work of the Independent International Commission under the UN Human Rights Council to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the context of Russian aggression, and to collect, verify and preserve evidence."

He stated emphatically: "We support the idea of establishing an ad hoc special tribunal. The crimes must be accounted for, and the perpetrators punished."

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 573 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAPpresident.pl

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