UK Demands North Korea, Iran Halt Support for Russia at UN

Colleagues, there is much irony to Russia calling yet another meeting on weapons proliferation in a month where we have seen the appalling destruction of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. As we speak, Russian forces continue in their devastating attacks around Kharkiv. As UN experts visiting Ukraine in April discovered, this includes the use of ballistic missiles from North Korea.

Russia's procurement of weapons from Pyongyang is in violation of numerous Council resolutions, and is in addition to its use of thousands of Iranian drones since 2022.

We urge North Korea and Iran to cease all support to Russia. We note that any transfer of ballistic missiles or related technology from Iran to Russia would be a significant escalation.

President, Russian forces have also admitted to using riot control agents on the battlefield and the UK agrees with the US determination that Russia has used chloropicrin against Ukrainian forces. Both are a clear breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

This is a war that Russia cannot win, and which is costing young Russians their future.

The military takes up 40% of Russia's government spending. Every Kinzhal missile costs $7 million, as much as 130 Russian teachers' salaries. And at the current rate, by next year, Russia will have been responsible for well over half a million personnel killed and wounded over three years of its needless war.

Yet Russia shows no signs of wanting peace. The Russian Permanent Representative said himself in this chamber that soon the "the only topic for any international meetings on Ukraine will be the unconditional surrender of the Kiev regime".

Ukraine wants peace but it is defending itself from a neo-imperial war of aggression. It has the right to project force beyond its borders to do so.

Along with Ukraine, we support Switzerland's upcoming Summit on Peace. It will be an opportunity to demonstrate global unity on principles for a just peace based on the UN Charter.

Our support for Ukraine will endure as it continues to fight Russian aggression, as it secures the just and sustainable peace it deserves, as it rebuilds and recovers, and as its sovereign right to chart its own course is guaranteed.

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