- YOMIURI EDITORIAL
Support for Ukraine: World Unity Will Prevent Future Invasions
15:30 JST, September 21, 2023
If Russia were to succeed in its invasion of Ukraine, moves to seize other countries’ territory by force could further spread throughout the world. Countries should share a sense of urgency and unite in support of Ukraine.
In his speech to a U.N. General Assembly meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “We must act united to defeat the aggressor and focus all our capabilities and energy [on addressing these challenges].” He also stated, “Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that … no one in the world will dare to attack any nation.”
Last year, Zelenskyy delivered his speech via a pre-recorded video, but this year he visited the U.N. headquarters in New York in person. He may have judged it necessary to directly call for support at a gathering of world leaders.
More than 1½ years have passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year. The Ukrainian military has broken through Russian defense lines in some areas and retaken territory, but the results of its counter-offensive are still limited. It is essential for the United States and Europe to continue to expand their military support.
On the other hand, there is a strong belief among the emerging and developing countries of the so-called “Global South” that they should focus their efforts on the problems of rising food and energy prices, rather than on supporting Ukraine.
Zelenskyy met with the leaders of South Africa and Kenya on this occasion and emphasized the importance of continuing grain exports from Ukraine and his country’s determination for the recovery of peace. Although it is not easy to gain the support of the Global South, Ukraine needs to tenaciously continue dialogue with them.
Russia’s aggression tramples on the principles of the U.N. Charter, which prohibits the seizure of territory by force. It is hoped that emerging and developing countries will be aware of that.
In his U.N. speech, U.S. President Joe Biden stressed that if Ukraine’s territory is allowed to be carved up, the independence of any nation will be endangered.
A ceasefire in its current state would only allow Russia to plot another invasion of Ukraine and a new invasion of Eastern Europe. It is necessary to increase public awareness that making the Russian military withdraw and protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory will lead to the restoration of international order.
For Russia, a military power, to invade a neighboring country and threaten to use nuclear weapons is a situation that should never have happened. There is concern that, now that it has actually happened, this may lower hurdles for the use of force worldwide.
On Sept. 19, Azerbaijan launched a military attack on a disputed region with Armenia. The aim is believed to be the elimination of Armenian residents who are claiming independence. Civil wars and military coups continue in Africa.
It is important to go back to the basics of peaceful resolution of conflicts.
(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 21, 2023)
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