The conflict in Donbas is the only conflict in the world in the postwar period that goes without any involvement of the United Nations, said Roman Bezsmertnyi, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine (2010-2011) to Belarus on the ZIK TV-program.
Commenting on the situation in the Donbas, Bezsmertnyi said it was important that Ukraine invoke all current pertaining laws, especially the Defense Law and provisions of the Martial Law.
“Because I cannot resist the thought that some Ukrainian politicians would believe that the people who passed those laws were all but complete idiots,” Bezsmertnyi said.
“Let’s carry out the law, revise and amend it if necessary, but let’s do it. This will bring us back into our legal framework, highlight areas where can do more, and will ultimately lead us into the international legal framework. Then we will be able to clearly see the status of prisoners of war, provisions that regulate the situation, the status of the civilian population in the territory afflicted by combat activities. And then we will see who takes responsibility for all this,” the diplomat said.
Bezsmertnyi points out that when a local in Donetsk blames Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv for him having nothing to eat or drink, he is legally right because under the current situation there is an Antiterrorist Operation (ATO).
“Really, in the current situation, the State of Ukraine is legally responsible for the social conditions and status of those people. Not Russia! When uncertainty and the mess clear up, pure facts will come out on display, and we will able to see that Ukraine is a victim and Russia is an aggressor. This will invoke certain international laws that will guide our future actions concerning the Crimea and the Donbas,” Bezsmertnyi said.
According to Bezsmertnyi, Ukraine’s next step must be to define the role and the place of the UN in the war in Donbas.
“What is striking in this situation is that this is probably the only military conflict in the postwar world in which the United Nations is not involved at all. Basically, the UN, which had a responsibility to prevent the war in the first place, now looks at two members, its two founders engaged in the war!”
“Moreover, all this happened while Ukraine sat through the entire year as a non-permanent member, and Russia sat as a permanent member on the UN Security Council’s board, and the war continued, and the UN was looking at it but did not even develop a program on energy resources, on prisoners of war because there are none! Why are we treated like this?” the Ukrainian diplomat asked with frustration.