Wearing his usual war garb, the Ukrainian president calls for no impunity for “war crimes” committed by Russian troops
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Madrid hosts the Plenary Session of the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, an event dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and which has had one of its high points with the intervention of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, via videoconference. Greeted with a loud ovation, the president has asked the countries to recognize the country of Vladimir Putin as a “terrorist state” and that more sanctions be approved, since he considers that this is the way to try to nullify its ability to act.
Wearing his usual war attire, Zelenski wanted to convey a clear message in his speech before 269 parliamentarians from the 30 NATO member countries and a hundred members of the Chambers of 15 associated countries and the 8 parliamentary observer delegations: Russia is committing “war crimes” and “genocide”in addition to deploying attacks against critical infrastructure such as nuclear power plants or those that supply water to the population. Back in September, a UN fact-finding mission ruled that Russia had committed war crimes, after examining war crimes in 16 Ukrainian towns.
“We realize that there is a whole series of war crimes and genocide. All of that has to be judged in court. Nobody is going to get away no one is going to be able to break international rules”, has been the request of the Ukrainian president so that there is no impunity, launching the request that a special court be set up to judge these “war crimes”.
Zelenski, in his speech, conveyed a concern: Russian attacks on critical infrastructures. In the last few hours, more than a dozen shells have fallen on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Moscow and kyiv blame each other for the attacks on the nuclear plant this weekend, while the UN warns of new attacks. The Ukrainian president has launched an appeal: “We all have an interest that there are no dangerous incidents at nuclear power plants. We ask the Russian terrorists to stop these actions. We want to be free of any sabotage that may occur at these facilities.”
The President of Ukraine has marked out what, in his opinion, is the path to follow: unity of the countries that support his country, that the common front against Russia not be broken; more sanctions packages; and more weapons. “I hope your countries will continue with the sanctions. They are very important to prevent this war from continuing and prolonging. We need new sanctions packages against Russia for this war on terror.”
“Ukraine needs anti-missiles”
Regarding the shipment of weapons, he has explained what his priorities are right now, which include responding to the Russian bombings: “Ukraine needs anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems of sufficient quantity and quality. And we need financial support.”
In this sense, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has warned in an intervention prior to that of the Ukrainian presidentfrom the risk of falling into “fatigue” about continuing to help this country. He has emphasized that the best way to force peace and a negotiated solution to the conflict is to prevent Russia from imposing itself by force.
“We should not think that democracies cannot temporarily sustain the effort over time, that would be a catastrophe for Ukraine and dangerous for us because the lesson learned would be that with force you can get what you want”, said the NATO Secretary General. And he added, in clear warning: “We have to be prepared to support Ukraine for a long time and pay the price.”