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Monday, March 20, 2023

Zelensky: Future of United Nations being decided in Ukraine

by Dinara KhalilovaMarch 9, 2023 12:00 am

Zelensky: Future of United Nations being decided in Ukraine​​UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President Volodymyr Zelensky during their meeting in Kyiv on March 8, 2023. (President's Office)

After his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on March 8, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the future of the United Nations is now being decided in Ukraine as Kyiv "defends the goals and principles of the UN Charter."

In Kyiv, Zelensky and Guterres discussed security issues, the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula, ways to return thousands of Ukrainians forcibly moved to Russia during the full-scale war, and the creation of a special tribunal for the Russian crime of aggression, according to President's Office. 

They also reportedly talked about extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Zelensky called "critical for the whole world."

The grain deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, is due to expire on March 18. It was first signed in July 2022 to unblock Ukrainian grain exports amid Russia's full-scale invasion of the country.

As signatories of the agreement, both Ukraine and Russia must agree to renew it. However, Russia has threatened to back out of the deal if its conditions are not met.

Ukraine's president and UN chief touched on Russian nuclear blackmail and restoring the safety of all Ukrainian nuclear power plants violated by Russia. 

According to Guterres, the UN can offer mediation to achieve complete demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, occupied by Russian forces, ensuring renewal of its regular operation. 

Guterres also pledged to continue working on humanitarian issues, including the exchange of prisoners of war.

"The recent shocking footage of the extrajudicial killing of a Ukrainian serviceman is another tragic reminder that the laws of war must be strictly enforced," said Guterres, referring to a video allegedly showing a Ukrainian POW to be shot dead after saying, "Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine)," a Ukrainian national salute. 

Dinara Khalilova
Dinara Khalilova
News editor

Dinara Khalilova is a news editor at the Kyiv Independent. She has previously worked as a fixer and local producer for Sky News. Dinara holds a BA in journalism from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and a Master’s degree in media and communication from Bournemouth University in the UK.

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