Our Borders Will Remain ‘Unchangeable’: Ukraine’s UN Ambassador

  • Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s UN Ambassador, on Monday slammed Russia’s announcement that it recognizes the independence of the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.
  • During a UN Security Council meeting, he said Ukraine’s borders would remain “unchangeable” despite Russia’s actions.
  • Kyslytsya said Russia’s actions are a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ukraine’s borders will remain “unchanged” despite any actions taken by Russia, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday.

“As stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, following the urgent meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine have been and will remain unchangeable,” he said during an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

“Ukraine unequivocally qualifies the recent actions by the Russian Federation as a violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Kyslytsya said.

He added responsibility that Russia bears “full” for the outcomes of its decision to recognize the independence of eastern Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “peacekeeping” troops into the two territories after formally acknowledging them as independent states.

The acts were condemned by several countries, including the US and UK, during Tuesday’s UNSC meeting, which was urgently convened following Putin’s orders.

Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also slammed Russia’s action, calling it a “clear attack” on Ukraine’s sovereignty, while the Biden administration imposed sanctions on the separatist regions.

Kyslytsya said Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk could be considered a unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements — two deals signed in 2014 and 2015 to quell further conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“By the decisions adopted today in those that may be adopted tomorrow, Russia legalizes the presence of its troops, which have actually been in the occupied areas of Donbas since 2014,” he said. “A country that has fueled the war for eight years is not able to maintain these as it claims.”

In 2014, Russia staged a military intervention in Ukraine’s Donbas region – which encompasses Donetsk and Luhansk — claiming that it was defending ethnic Russians living there. Since then, Donetsk and Luhansk have been held by Russia-backed separatists, per CNN.

Noting that Ukraine has the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, Kyslytsya said Ukraine is “committed to a peaceful and diplomatic path.”

“We are on our land. We are not afraid of anything or anyone,” he said.

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