Ukraine a victim of aggression and illegal occupation - Polish FM

PAP/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

"Ukraine is still an object of military aggression and the illegal occupation of its territory; ceasefire in this country is still far from implemented," Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in New York on Tuesday.

The Polish official also came out in favour of limiting the use of a veto in the UN Security Council in cases of blatant war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

On Tuesday the Polish diplomat chaired an open debate at the UN Security Council on the importance of humanitarian law and the protection of civilians in conflicts. The debate was organised by the Polish presidency of the Council.

"Over recent years many countries have been painfully hit by military conflicts," Minister Czaputowicz said, adding he had in mind Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

"As far as European countries are concerned, Ukraine was and continues to be an object of permanent military aggression and the illegal occupation of its territory. Despite many efforts by the international community, ceasefire in Ukraine is still far from implemented," he said.

The Polish official stressed that the number of victims of this conflict was alarming. "According to the UN, 2,830 civilians died and 25,000 were injured in this conflict. We have 1.5 million internal resettlers in Ukraine," he added, stressing that "civilians often pay the highest price during conflicts."

"Poland believes that observance of international humanitarian law and human rights must be strengthened," the minister underlined, and added that "it was necessary to end, or at least to significantly reduce, impunity for violating international humanitarian law."