Kenya waded in on the tension between Russia and Ukraine during the United Nations Security Council’s urgent meeting on Monday, February 21, 2022.
Kenya steals show at emergency UN Security Council meeting [Video]
Ambassador Martin Kimani delivered a strong speech that has resonated with many across the globe.
The speech was delivered by Kenya’s permanent representative to the UN ambassador Martin Kimani.
“Kenya is gravely concerned by the announcement made by the Russian Federation to recognise Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent states,” he said.
Russia recently sent troops to Ukraine and shortly after, the UNSC set a rare nighttime emergency meeting at the request of Ukraine, the US and other countries.
Ambassador Kimani expressed Kenya’s strong concern and opposition to the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
“We further strongly condemn the trend in the last few decades of powerful states, including members of this Security Council, breaching International Law with little regard,” he said.
“Multilateralism lies on its deathbed tonight. It has been assaulted, as it has been by other powerful states in the recent past,” he said.
Ambassador Kimani called on all member states to stand behind the Secretary General in asking him to rally the council to resolve the situation by peaceful means.
“Let me conclude by reaffirming Kenya's respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders,” his statement read.
What's the situation?
As the threat of war looms, western nations for weeks have been occupied trying to ease growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Canada, the United States and European allies have been scrambling to support Ukraine in the event of an armed conflict, while threatening Russia with sanctions if it moves into the former Soviet state.
Since it won independence after the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Ukraine has shed its Russian imperial legacy and forged close ties with the West.
In 2014, protests broke out in Ukraine when then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who favoured Russia, rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.
Russia responded by annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and throwing its weight behind a separatist insurgency that broke out in Ukraine’s east. More than 14,000 people have died since the conflict began.
However, in recent weeks Moscow has deployed about 100,000 troops across Ukraine’s borders, along with tanks and other heavy artillery, sparking new fears of an invasion. Russia has denied it intends to launch an invasion, but western nations are unconvinced.
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