Macron condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine as ‘return to imperialism’, calls on UN to support road to peace

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Addressing world leaders on the opening day of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Mr. Marcon said: “Today we must make a simple choice – war or peace.”

He recalled that at the end of February “Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, through an act of aggression and invasion and annexation, has violated our collective security … when it deliberately violated the UN Charter and the principle of sovereign equality of states . .”

The French president said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had declared Russia’s aggression illegal and called for the withdrawal of its troops even as Russia continued its aggression, potentially paving the way for “other annexation wars in Europe today and perhaps tomorrow in Asia, or Africa or Latin America.”

“The longer this war lasts, the more it threatens Europe and the world. It could lead to a bigger conflict where security and sovereignty no longer depend on the strength of alliances, but on the strength of armed groups… era of imperialism. France rejects this and will steadfastly seek peace.”

Macron said the war “undermines the very principle of our organization, undermines the only possible world order, undermines peace.”

With this in mind, he said he had been and would continue to dialogue with Moscow, “because only by working together can we find peace”, including, among other things, “the humanitarian, military and political support that we give to the people of Ukraine so that they can enjoy their legitimate right of defense and maintain their sovereignty.”

Mr Macron said he rejected the stance of those countries who said they remained “neutral” and stated: “They are wrong. they are making a historic mistake.” President Macron declared: “Those who remain silent today are in a sense complicit in the cause of a new imperialism… which is trampling on the current order.”

It is not a matter of choosing between East and West, or between North and South, Macron said, “because beyond the war there is a risk of dividing the world” and he called on members of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Council to stand up for “our most valuable public interest – peace”.

He called on members of the Security Council to “act so that Russia rejects the path of war and estimates the cost to itself and to all of us — and truly puts an end to this act of aggression.”

Turning to other pressing issues on the international agenda, Mr Macron stressed that with climate change, ecosystems “reaching the point of no return”, food shortages and price spikes, looming famine and terrorism, among other ills, “it is always the most vulnerable people who are most affected.

“These are all issues that we urgently need to address. Many of these problems are caused by divisions between us and so it must be our shared responsibility to help the most vulnerable face these challenges,” he said.

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