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Ukraine, West Seek Allies for UN Vote

U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at Mariinsky Palace on an unannounced visit in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.

Ukrainian authorities and their allies reported campaigning for broad support amid a scheduled U.N. General Assembly meeting to be held Wednesday and will witness a vote on a resolution calling for “just and lasting peace” in Eastern Europe.

Political experts report that the U.N. draft resolution has been sponsored by 60 countries however voting will not be expected until the UN General Assembly’s close of debate on Thursday.

Experts add that the draft resolution reaffirms the U.N.’s “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

A European diplomat told news agency Agence France-Presse that Kyiv and its allies are hoping to garner support of at least as many nations as in October, when 143 nations voted for the resolution condemning the annexation of several Ukrainian territories by Russia.

“I think we have come up with a text which really tries to garner the international community, tries to be as cohesive and as positive as possible,” said the diplomat.

“A year after the invasion of Ukraine, it will also be a message to Russia that ‘it cannot achieve its objective through force,” added the diplomat.

Sentiments passed by the diplomat were echoed by European Union’s Ambassador Olof Skoog.

“We count on very broad support from the membership,” said Skoog.

“What is at stake is not just the fate of Ukraine, it is the respect of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of every state,” he added.

Richard Gowan, an analyst with the International Crisis Group said President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy’s administration must preach about peace if they look to garner support from nations such as South Africa who have strong relations with Russia.

“If Kyiv won’t talk about peace, there is a risk that the BRICS countries will start to say Ukraine is the real obstacle to peace,” said Gowan in reference to Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.

“That is why the U.S. and E.U. were keen to get references to a cessation of hostilities in this week’s text,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed lawmakers and military authorities in his nation Tuesday where he indicated that Moscow’s “special military operation” would continue.

"The people of Ukraine have become the hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western overlords, who have effectively occupied this country in the political, military and economic sense," said Putin.

"They intend to transform a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation. This is exactly how we understand it all and we will react accordingly, because in this case we are talking about the existence of our country," he added.

This report was compiled from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.