Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood up to Western powers at the UN Security Council on Thursday, defending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after his American counterpart said Moscow had “violated” international norms.
The comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated the war in Ukraine in recent weeks, vowing to mobilize hundreds of thousands of additional troops and the threat of using nuclear weapons – causing alarm around the world.
“Every member of the council can send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must be stopped immediately,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told a meeting of the 15-member council, which was convened to address atrocities takes place in Ukraine.
Lavrovwho arrived late to the meeting and left after addressing the council for about 20 minutes, denied that Russia had committed war crimes and blamed Ukraine and its Western backers for the conflict.
“What is particularly cynical is the position of the states that pump up Ukraine with full weapons, training their soldiers,” he said, arguing that the West is doing this to “prolong the fighting as long as possible, despite the casualties, to wear them down.” . and weaken Russia.”
“The decision to conduct a military special operation was inevitable,” Lavrov added.
Blinken and other officials said the onus is on Russia to stop it war. “One man chose this war. And one person can finish it,” Blinken said. “Because when Russia stops fighting, the war will end. If Ukraine stops fighting, it will be the end of Ukraine.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, who spoke after Lavrov’s departure, said that Russian lies contribute to the suffering of Ukrainians.
“Russian diplomats are direct accomplices, as they incite and cover up these crimes with their lies,” Kuleba said.
The council met a day after Putin ordered the mobilization of army reservists to support Moscow’s weakened campaign in Ukraine, warning he would use Russia’s nuclear arsenal if its “territorial integrity” came under “threat”.
Moscow is also planning a lot phased voices in the four occupied regions of Ukraine on the issue of joining Russia, which the USA and other states called fake.
Western countries have vowed not to recognize Russia’s efforts to annex occupied Ukrainian territory and have warned that Russia will face consequences if it does so.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley, speaking after Lavrov, described his comments as “distortions, dishonesty and misinformation”. “I don’t think Mr. Lavrov wants to hear a collective condemnation of the council,” Cleverly said, noting that the Russian diplomat had left the room.
Several officials who attended the council also emphasized their concern about Russia’s nuclear threats. “The trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine is of deep concern to the entire international community,” said Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar. “The nuclear issue is of particular concern.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the Security Council on Thursday and called for talks to end the conflict, but stopped short of criticizing Russia. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping last week expressed their concerns to Putin about the escalation of the war.
Western diplomats said their public rift with Russia was indicative of Moscow’s growing isolation. Ukraine, the United States and other world powers accuse Russia of committing war crimes, while Russia denies targeting civilians in what it has called a “special military operation.”
While the meeting provided an opportunity for a tense standoff, there is little the Council can do to punish Russia for its actions, as Moscow is a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council.
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