Italy's president says Russia's invasion of Ukraine can't be solved by rewarding Moscow's aggression

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Italy’s president told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can’t be solved by rewarding its aggression and peace can only come when Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored.

Sergio Mattarella said Italy, which now heads the G7 meetings, and many international partners have come to Ukraine’s defense to support the principle that solidarity must be given to nations attacked by acts that violate international law and the U.N. Charter.

“No state, no matter how powerful or how equipped it is with a menacing nuclear arsenal can think of violating principles, including the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of another country without facing sanctions,” he said.

Mattarella said the end of two world wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union had brought new hope to Europe, and that “Russia has taken on the great historic responsibility of having brought war back to the heart of the European continent.”

The Italian president stressed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t merely a regional conflict since Moscow wants to exercise global influence. Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, which is charged with ensuring international peace and security.

The war in Ukraine, once one of the world’s main bread baskets, has created food and energy scarcities, especially in parts of Africa, he said.

Mattarella added that the peace dividends that incentivized the allocation of resources to development instead of arms after the end of the Cold War have been wasted as Russia turns back time and starts a new arms race.

With the war in Ukraine now in its third year, he said Italy, its international partners and people everywhere are committed to achieving a peaceful and long-lasting solution to the conflict.

“Not just any solution, though, let alone a solution which would reward the aggressor and humiliate those being attacked, setting a dangerous precedent for everyone,” Mattarella said.

“If peace is to be fair and long lasting, it must be based on the noble and inalienable principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations,” he added.

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