If the international community fails to make a strong response to Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, Moscow may take another step, Lithuania's representative at the United Nations Security Council Raimonda Murmokaitė said on Thursday.
UN Security Council
© AFP/Scanpix

At a meeting initiated by Lithuania in New York on Thursday, Murmokaitė said that Moscow was engaging in a step-by-step attack on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"For too long now have we watched this creeping attack against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And because it was happening one step at a time, our response has been like that of the proverbial boiling frog," said the Lithuanian ambassador.

"Once international laws get broken as they are vis-a-vis Ukraine, it would be naive to think that such blatant disregard for international norms of behavior will not extend its creep. Do we want to take such risks?" Murmokaitė warned.

In her words, Russian actions in Ukraine are an open and blatant violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a serious blow to peace, security and stability across the entire region and beyond.

In her speech, the Lithuanian diplomat emphasized that, without Moscow's support, pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine would have exhausted their potential a long time ago and put an end to the deadly clashes.

"People are dying in Ukraine because of the criminal acts by the illegal separatists and their Russian supporters. Russians are also losing their lives in this criminal war against the state of Ukraine," Murmokaitė added.

"Ukraine does not need more Russian 'humanitarian' convoys, tanks, troops, and rearmament of separatist bands. What Ukraine needs is an urgent return by Russia to the internationally accepted norms of behavior, compliance with international law," said the ambassador.

NATO has said that more than 1,000 Russian troops are fighting against Ukrainian forces together with separatists in Ukraine, with munitions for separatists supplied by Russia. Russia has denied the accusations.

Lithuania has called to provide military assistance to Ukraine. However major Western democracies have not discussed such steps yet.

BNS
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