Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday in a pre-recorded speech that focused on the Russian war launched on Feb. 24.
He outlined five preconditions for peace during his speech:
- Punishment for aggression
- Protection of life
- Restoration of security and territorial integrity
- Security guarantees
- Determination to defend oneself
Here are the key lines from Zelensky's remarks:
- The Ukrainian president called for Russia to be punished: "A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people," Zelensky said. "Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory" and for the murder of thousands of people.
- Zelensky said the entire world wants peace, with the exception of Russia: "Ukraine wants peace, Europe wants peace, the world wants peace, and we have seen who is the only one who wants war," he said, alluding to President Vladimir Putin, without mentioning his name. "There is only one entity among all UN member states, who would say now, if he could interrupt my speech that he's happy with this war, with his war." Zelensky said.
- Zelensky said he believed Ukrainian territories will be liberated over time: "We can return the Ukraine flag to our entire territory. We can do it with the force of arms, but we need time."
- Russia should lose UN veto power: Zelensky called for Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, to lose its veto power. "So long as the aggressor is party to decision making in the international organization you must be insulated from them, at least until aggression stops."
- Special tribunal to punish Russia: Zelensky called for the creation of a special tribunal to punish Russia. "This will become a signal to all would-be aggressors, that they must value peace or be brought to responsibility by the world."
Zelensky received a standing ovation from most delegates after his speech. The Russian delegation remained seated and did not applaud.