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Ukraine's Zelenskiy Seeks Global Support Amid 'Russian Aggression'


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a bullet as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy kicked off the second day of speeches at this year's UN General Assembly, warning world leaders about the dangers of "Russian aggression" in Ukraine.

"None of you will be able to feel safe as long as there is a war in Ukraine, a war in Europe," Zelenskiy said in his first address before the world body on September 25.

In a globalized world "there is no such thing as someone else's war," he said. "Every leader shares responsibility for the destiny not only of their country but of the whole world."

Moscow continues to back separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people and displaced almost 2 million people since April 2014.

Russia also took over Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 in a move that has been condemned by many countries.

Kyiv seeks to "secure peace in a civilized manner," Zelenskiy said.

"Recovering all occupied Ukrainian territories are my primary objectives, but not at the cost of the lives of Ukrainians," he added.

Meeting Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the General Assembly later in the day, Trump said: "I really hope that you and [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin get together and can solve your problem.”

“That would be a tremendous achievement," the U.S. president added.

Trump also criticized Europeans for allegedly not doing enough to help Ukraine, and said they "should feel guilty about it."

"The United States helps Ukraine, but other countries should help Ukraine much more than they are doing," he said, naming Germany, France, and the European Union as a whole.

"They should spend a lot more in helping Ukraine," he also said.

"We don't need help, we need support. Real support," his Ukrainian counterpart said

Since 2014, the EU and European financial institutions have mobilized a package of more than 15 billion euros ($16.5 billion) in grants and loans to support Ukraine’s reform process, according to the bloc.

Zelenskiy, who was inaugurated in May, blamed the Kremlin on September 24 as being one of the two main factors that is keeping the country from realizing its full potential.

He told the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals in New York that “Russian aggression against Ukraine” is a barrier that prevents Ukraine from achieving “sustainable development goals” and that Kyiv can’t overcome it “without international support.”

A tradition of political “resistance” to much-needed reforms was the other obstacle he mentioned.

In his address to the Leaders Dialogue at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals, the Ukrainian leader expressed hope that diplomatic channels in tandem with “international partners” can help Ukraine regain territories it has lost to Russia and achieve peace.

“No state can achieve sustainable development without peace and a sense of security,” Zelenskiy said. “Sustainable development is impossible under the sounds of gunshots and explosions, it is impossible where aggressive geopolitical strategies applauding the invasion of other states and violation of human rights and freedoms prevail.”

With reporting by AP, dpa, and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
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