Polish president tells UN that war against Ukraine is an act of imperialism

Polish president tells UN that war against Ukraine is an act of imperialism

Andrzej Duda, Poland's president, told the UN General AssemblyUN General Assembly in New York that Russia's war against Ukraine is an act of imperialism that must not go unpunished.

In a 77th General Assembly, Duda said that the international community could not show tiredness with the war in Ukraine, one of the global consequences of which is a food crisis and the spectre of widespread famine.

He said Russia had not limited itself to attacking the Ukrainian army, but had also killed civilians or forced them to resettle in Russia, destroying everything it could not take over or loot, and threatening the whole world with nuclear catastrophe.

The decision to start that terrible war was taken in Russia by people motivated by imperial and colonial sentiments, nationalistic Russian pride, Duda said, adding that Russia must lose the war.

The aggressor has already lost, he told the UN, because it has not managed to tame a free country, has not broken the Ukrainian spirit, has not suppressed the Ukrainian army. Russia has not only withdrawn its forces from Ukrainian territory but it has a number of other countries against it, the vast majority of which do not want any negotiations with the aggressor. Duda assured the Assembly that Ukraine could count on Poland as an ally and urged the UN to support Ukraine as a ally, which he said he was convinced that Ukraine would win the war and re-establish its internationally recognised borders.

The Polish president also stressed the economic consequences of the war, in particular the food crisis it has caused, describing Russia's actions as a war against humanity.

Duda said Russia had consciously destroyed crops and agricultural machinery as a deliberate policy aimed at weaponising food since the beginning of the war. Russia had occupied 22 percent of Ukraine's arable land and looted crops, he said.

As Ukraine is one of the world's most important food providers, Duda said this year's harvest would be 35 percent down, eliminating a third of the world's breadbasket. He described this as an economic weapon targeting the countries of Africa and the Middle East and threatening to kill 47 million people with chronic hunger. Comparing this with Stalin's notorious Ukrainian famine in the 1930s, Duda said such an artificial famine could not be allowed in the 21st century.

He said that he seriously doubted international law was sufficient to punish the perpetrators of such enormous damage to the environment and world food resources, and called for more effective mechanisms to punish those who deliberately destroy crops in the world's granary. The Polish president called for tougher action against Moscow and its ally Belarus, as well as greater aid for the Ukrainian people.