Prime Minister De Croo speaks with UN boss Guterres in New York: “What we are experiencing today is unprecedented” | Abroad

Prime Minister De Croo speaks with UN boss Guterres in New York: “What we are experiencing today is unprecedented” | Abroad
Prime Minister De Croo speaks with UN boss Guterres in New York: “What we are experiencing today is unprecedented” | Abroad

GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNPrime Minister Alexander De Croo underlined the seriousness of the escalation of Russian aggression against Ukraine at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday. “We are here in the seat of multilateralism at a time when one of the founding members is violating all the rules of multilateralism and is attacking a former colony. You could not have a more threatening situation for Belgium.”

Read all developments about the war in Ukraine in our file.

De Croo arrived at UN headquarters on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization to bolster troops in Ukraine and expressed his support for the referendums in Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, which were held in Ukraine. west as a stepping stone to Russian annexation. Putin also lashed out particularly hard at the West:

“What we are experiencing today is unprecedented. I don’t think there have ever been such direct threats about the use of nuclear weapons even in the most difficult period of the Cold War,” said De Croo. But it is not the first time that Moscow has threatened with nuclear weapons, and Belgium and NATO must, according to the prime minister, continue their double response: “Don’t be intimidated, but also don’t put fuel on the fire.”

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Ceasefire

Countries such as India and China are now also calling for a ceasefire, but the key, according to De Croo, lies in Moscow. “There is only one country that can take a step towards a ceasefire and that is Russia. If China has been trying to position itself in recent months as a country that has a relationship with Russia, then it should use it to get Russia to stop.” The prime minister emphasized that it is up to Ukraine to set the conditions. “When Ukraine says: we want the integrity of our entire territory before 2014, I think that’s understandable. That is a logical position.”

In the meantime, according to De Croo, there is nothing for it but to “help Ukraine to win the war”. “It’s the only leverage we have. Belgium plays its part in this,” said the federal head of government, pointing out that our country already provided 55 million euros in military and 110 million euros in humanitarian and medical support.

Rapid disconnection of Russian gas and oil

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested in an interview with television channel CNN on Wednesday that new sanctions against the Russians are in prospect, but according to De Croo priority must be given to the rapid disconnection of Russian gas and oil. “That has an impact. At first we thought it would take years, but now it is more a matter of months.” In the meantime, Europe must also make more efforts to make it clear to the rest of the world that it is not Western sanctions, but Russian aggression that is at the root of global instability, De Croo believes.

The war in Ukraine and the disconnection of Russian energy are hurting Europe economically, with skyrocketing energy prices. The prime minister continues to argue for a European cap on gas prices, but there is also a lot of work ahead in Belgium in the coming days to support citizens and businesses. “This is therefore my shortest visit to the UN so far, but multilateralism is being questioned in such a way that it is still important to be here,” said De Croo.

The Belgian Prime Minister started his three days in New York with a short meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. De Croo warned that European countries should be careful not to focus only on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “That would be a big mistake. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are more important than ever. Just look at our dependence on fossil fuels.”

INTERVIEW. Professor David Criekemans after Putin’s speech: “He actually says: ‘Dear West, what losses are you prepared to take?’” (+)

ANALYSIS. Vladimir Putin finally admits how deep he has sunk (+)

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The article is in Dutch

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