Czech Republic calls on Russia to 'immediately' cease its military actions in Ukraine
'Russia must immediately withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine,' says Czech foreign minister at UN General Assembly
The Czech Republic's foreign minister urged Russia to end its war on Ukraine in a speech Wednesday at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York City.
Jan Lipavsky said "Russia must immediately cease its military actions and withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine."
Criticizing Russia for its "complete disregard for the resolutions" adopted by the UN General Assembly, Lipavsky said it is "appalling."
Stressing the Czech Republic's commitment to fully supporting the sovereignty, unity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, he said: "We will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the upcoming sham referenda in parts of the Ukraine territory."
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier Wednesday a mass mobilization in Russia of 300,000 reservists to support his flagging war effort in Ukraine. In doing so, he offered a dire warning ahead of planned referenda in parts of Ukraine denounced by the West as a "sham" effort to annex additional Ukrainian territory.
In addition, the Czech Republic "resolutely rejects an attempt to create spheres of influence instead of equal partnerships," he said, adding all reports on Russia's military conduct must be independently investigated and Russia must respect its obligations under international humanitarian law."
Condemning "the existence of filtration camps run by Russia and the horrors in Mariupol, Bucha, Irpin, Izium and many other places in Ukraine as well as the apocalyptic shelling of civilian infrastructure," Lipavsky said "we are horrified by the atrocities committed by the Russian invader."
Pointing to the need for an investigation of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, he said: "There is Russia's international responsibility for the aggression, but there's also an individual criminal responsibility for the crimes committed on such a large scale by Russian troops. We will hold all war criminals accountable."
Touching on the Czech Republic's support for Ukrainian refugees, he said his country hosts the highest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita.
"We provide volumes of humanitarian aid. We support the stabilization, recovery and reconstruction efforts of the Ukrainian government, not only with words but with action," he added.