The foreign minister of Ukraine has stated that his country would not use Western fighter jets to strike Russian targets.
Dmytro Kuleba, a spokesperson for Ukraine at the United Nations in New York said that the jets are needed to stop the war and push Russia beyond its eastern borders.
Kuleba stated that Ukraine is using weapons it receives from its partners to attack Russia in Ukraine’s occupied territories.
When asked if he could ensure that Ukraine wouldn’t use Western jets or other long-range weapons for bombing inside Russia, the foreign minister replied: “We can assure that we will be using Western weaponry to liberate Ukrainian territory.”
Because of the lingering fear of an increase in conflict outside Ukraine’s borders, the West is unwilling to supply Ukraine with fast jets despite the obvious advantage it would bring,
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned this week that the West’s deployment of long-range weapons could give him the right to strike back against the West even further, perhaps beyond Ukraine and into Eastern Europe.
After a successful trip to Warsaw and Kyiv, US President Joe Biden is back in Washington DC. White House officials consider it a major success.
New York is now the international diplomatic center. Diplomats from 193 countries are expected to gather at the New York headquarters of the United Nations for a vote in General Assembly.
The General Assembly will vote on a resolution that underlines the urgent need to find lasting peace in Ukraine at the end of its emergency special session.
At the end of this afternoon’s session, the resolution text will be up for vote. It was drafted by Ukraine with consultation with allies and seen by Sky News.
According to western diplomats, the simple language is an attempt to get as much support as possible. A success would be around 140 votes in favor.
It will likely call for “a comprehensive and just peace that is lasting in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.
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“No two sides are equal in this war”
In the chamber, Mr Kuleba stated: “The problem in this war is that there are no two equally powerful sides. There are two sides to a war: an aggressor and a victim.
“I am aware that some countries are not willing to accept Ukraine’s side for different reasons. It’s not about this. It’s not about taking the side for the United Nations Charter. It’s about taking sides with international law.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, America’s Ambassador to the UN, stated that Russia launched an illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine one year ago. President Putin chose war.
“This was an unprovoked and illegal attack on Ukraine.” It was also an attack on the United Nations.”
She concluded, “This vote will be remembered in history.”
“We will examine the position of the nations on the issue of peace in Ukraine at the one-year mark of the conflict.”
“A just peace”
Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to Britain, said: “Every country would fight for survival the same way.”
“What Ukraine really desires, and indeed what all of us want, and what we have continuously called for, is just peace.”
The vote, as with any United Nations body is symbolic. It reflects global diplomatic opinion and not concrete directives for action.
Tomorrow will see foreign ministers gather at the Security Council.
For what promises to be an intense exchange of views, America’s Secretary-of-State Antony Blinken will join British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the table.
The main focus will be on how China’s support has changed in Putin’s favor. Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, was in Moscow this week.
On Monday, Mr Blinken said that China might be planning to supply Russia weapons. This would be a major shift in the conflict and make the war more like a proxy east-west war.
It will also be obvious how united the western nations are. There is still a divide between those who advocate caution and those who want the war to be won by arming Ukraine in order to win, rather than prolonging a deadlock.