Russia’s weaponisation of food and energy impacts all countries, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells UN Assembly

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine told world leaders in the UN General Assembly that alongside its ongoing nuclear threat, Russia is also weaponising essentials like global food and energy markets, and using them “not only against our country, but all of yours as well”.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s 78th session. Photo Courtesy: UN Photo/Cia Pak

Since the start of the war in 2022, Ukrainian ports in the Black and Azov seas have been blocked by Russia and its ports on the Danube River targeted by drones and missiles, he said.

“It is a clear Russian attempt to weaponize the food shortage on the global market, in exchange for recognition of some, if not all, of the captured territories,” he said.

The impact of that weaponisation could be seen from Africa to South-East Asia, he said.

“Nukes are not the scariest thing now. Mass destruction is gaining momentum. The aggressor is weaponising many other things … things that are being used not only against our country but also yours as well,” he said, adding, “There are many conventions against weapons but none against weaponization … of global food supplies and energy.”

President Zelenskyy further said that while Russia undermines the Black Sea Initiative, Ukraine continues to support it to ensure food security globally, having launched a temporary sea corridor from its ports and working to preserve land routes for grain exports.

Hatred doesn’t stop in one country

He added that Russia was conducting mass kidnapping and deportation of Ukrainian children, making it a clear case of genocide. In Russia, he continued, the children are taught to hate Ukraine and all ties broken with their families.

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“When hatred is weaponised against one nation, it never stops there,” he said.

The Ukrainian leader also said that he will present a Ukrainian peace formula at the Security Council on Wednesday to serve as a framework to end aggression on terms set by the victimised country in an open manner.

 Urging unity among countries, President Zelenskyy said that while Russia is “pushing the world to the final war”, Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that after this Russian aggression, “no one in the world will dare to attack any nation”.

“Every nation must be restrained, war crimes must be punished, deported people must come back home, and the occupier must return to their own land,” he said.