Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks...

Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. The U.N. General Assembly will keep standing up for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty whatever the outcome of national elections across the globe this year, the body’s president Dennis Francis said Wednesday, adding that “no country has the right to invade another country.” Credit: AP/Alex Babenko

KYIV, Ukraine — The U.N. General Assembly will keep standing up for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty whatever the outcome of national elections across the globe this year, the body's president said Wednesday, adding that “no country has the right to invade another country.”

That stance “cannot change because this is a matter of law,” General Assembly President Dennis Francis told The Associated Press during his first visit to Ukraine as Kyiv's forces battle Russia's invasion for a third year.

The U.N.'s main policy-making body has given broad support for efforts to uphold Ukraine's sovereignty, Francis said.

But elections this year in the U.S. and in a handful of key European Union countries have raised concerns about a potential shift in policies among Western nations whose military and financial support has been crucial for Ukraine to thwart the Kremlin's ambitions.

“It will be for us to witness over time what the implications of the results of those elections are for the entire international system and in particular for the state of Ukraine,” Francis said.

“I am convinced that the people of Ukraine will not give up,” he said, whatever the election outcomes. “They will not accept it and they will not allow foreign domination of their homeland.”

Speaking in Kyiv at the end of a two-day visit, Francis called on Russia “to withdraw immediately all its military forces from the territory of Ukraine” — a reference to a General Assembly resolution that was approved shortly after the outbreak of the war. More than two years later, Moscow’s army is slowly seizing new land in eastern Ukraine.

In this photo released by the Dnipro Regional Administration, rescuers...

In this photo released by the Dnipro Regional Administration, rescuers work on the scene of a building damaged during Russia's missile attack in Dnipro, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Credit: AP

Francis met with Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to discuss peace and international security. He pledged support for Zelenskyy's peace plan, which was discussed at a recent international gathering in Switzerland attended by scores of countries and bodies, including the U.N.

“I think there are many important elements in (Zelenskyy's plan) that can provide a foundation for dialog when that time is appropriate," he said. "Let us see where it takes us.”

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