Ukraine PM asks West to keep sanctions on Russia
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called Wednesday on the West not to ease sanctions on Russia, in his address to the UN General Assembly.
"We ask our partners not to lift sanctions until Ukraine takes control of its entire territory," Yatsenyuk said.
He spoke just hours after US President Barack Obama offered to lift sanctions against Moscow if it threw its weight behind an unraveling peace deal with Kiev.
Yatsenyuk said Russia must abide by "all points" of a peace deal that provides for autonomy in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels have been fighting Kiev since April.
"Every day, despite the ceasefire, we are losing Ukrainian soldiers, we are losing civilians and the shelling is still going on," he said.
Denouncing a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine, the prime minister accused Moscow of violating the UN charter and declared that it should be known as the "insecurity member" of the Security Council.
He called on Moscow to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and cut off support to the rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied that it is providing aid to the insurgents.
"We are the country that needs peace, and it's difficult to hammer out any kind of peace deal, starring down the barrel of a gun," he said.
In his address to the 193-member assembly, Obama earlier said that the recent ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine offered an opening towards diplomacy and peace.
"If Russia takes that path -- a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people -- then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia's role in addressing common challenges," Obama said.
© 2014 AFP