Petro Poroshenko Will Seek To Put Ukraine Conflict Back On U.N.’s Radar

UNITED NATIONS, USA -- President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning.

President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine.

What will be Mr. Poroshenko’s priority? 

He arrives in New York seeking ways to bring attention back to the conflict with Russia, and to shore up Western financial and other support for Kiev.

Ukraine has been gradually slipping down the list of urgent world crises, particularly since a shaky cease-fire took hold in the southeast at the beginning of this month.

Mr. Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian television stations that many issues on the United Nations agenda — including peace and security, human rights, and help for people displaced by war — coincide with the problems in Ukraine.

What is the status of the conflict in Ukraine? 

The broad outlines of a peace proposal were agreed on by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, last February.

It has been haphazardly put into effect as a Dec. 31 deadline approaches, however, and the degree of autonomy for the breakaway regions supported by Russia remains a main stumbling block. 

The cease-fire has been attributed partly to the desire of President Vladimir V. Putin to draw attention away from Russia’s role in the conflict ahead of the United Nations meeting, a role Mr. Poroshenko is certain to highlight when he addresses the General Assembly.

While the West is sympathetic to Ukraine’s plight, there are increasing questions about the slow pace of government overhaul.

What would Mr. Poroshenko like to achieve? 

He has said that his aims in New York include discussing changes to the Security Council, in particular diminishing the right of permanent members like Russia to veto resolutions aimed at calming conflicts in which they are involved.

Overhaul is a perennial nonstarter, but Ukraine is campaigning for a nonpermanent Security Council seat for 2016-17, and it needs to look serious about Council issues.

In terms of a direct impact on the Ukraine crisis, a more concrete meeting is set for Friday, when Mr. Poroshenko and Putin, along with the leaders of France and Germany, are scheduled to meet in Paris to discuss the Minsk agreement.

Source: The New York Times