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Pro-Moscow separatist regions ask Kremlin for help repelling Ukrainian forces

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images)

After speaking at the United Nations, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said US President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin all assured him that “the United States will stand with Ukraine, for no matter what happens”.

Biden, Blinken, Austin and Kuleba all met in Washington on Tuesday, and Ukraine’s foreign minister spoke to reporters outside the General Assembly room after his remarks at the United Nations in New York City. today.

Kuleba said the US leaders also assured him that the US would continue to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons to enhance its military capabilities and that they would impose more sanctions on Ukraine. Russia.

“I want to assure you that we would be happy if we never had to pick up those weapons and use them on the battlefield. We want peace. But if Russia attacks, we have to be equipped to fight back,” Kuleba said. “We appreciate the example that sanctions have been imposed … but this is not enough. And our partners should not wait for a Russian missile to hit Ukrainian soil or a Russian plane to penetrate. our airspace.”

He added that he “cannot be completely satisfied” until “the last Russian soldier withdraws from Ukrainian territory.”

Kuleba also called Russia’s criticisms of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statements about the conflict “unprecedented” and asserted that in doing so, Russia wants the United Nations to “become to be” obsolete”.

“Today, Russia openly attacked the secretary-general of the United Nations, and by doing so, it shows that it attacks the United Nations as well. And I believe that all member states share the principles of the United Nations. this organization in good faith, should be on Ukraine’s side, and should be on the side of the secretary general,” said Kuleba. “If the United Nations were to endure such an attack, it would be the United Nations alone that would suffer.” the most damage and … will eventually be discredited and disrespected.”

The Ukrainian ambassador said he believes Guterres should continue to lead and that UN members should consider their “full set of tools”, especially actions that do not require Security Council approval. United Nations Security – of which Russia is a permanent member. Kuleba said actions such as strengthening humanitarian efforts in the Donbas region could be one of the tools the United Nations uses.

CNN’s Laura Studley contributed reporting to this post.

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