Lavrov criticizes Russia’s conflict in Ukraine on the UN

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters April 24, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M Santiago | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

UNITED NATIONS – The United States and Western allies have taken turns criticizing Russia for its ongoing war in Ukraine and accusing Moscow of trampling on the UN charter during a lengthy Security Council meeting chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov, who flew from Moscow to New York to chair the Security Council, defended his country’s “special military operation” in Ukraine in his opening speech to the international forum. He also repeated claims that Kiev was the real aggressor.

Lavrov then accused the United States of exacerbating geopolitical challenges around the world, including tensions between China and Taiwan.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, laid the blame squarely on Russia in her opening address to the group of 15.

“Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, has invaded its neighbor Ukraine and has struck the heart of the UN Charter,” Thomas-Greenfield said, referring to the UN’s founding document, which pledges sovereignty, peace, justice and prevention to keep from war.

“This illegal, unprovoked and unnecessary war runs directly counter to our most sacred tenet: that aggressive war and territorial conquest is never, ever acceptable,” she said. “Today it’s Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be another country, another small nation invaded by its larger neighbor,” she added.

In direct remarks to Lavrov, Thomas-Greenfield reiterated calls for the immediate release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and former US Marine Paul Whelan, whose sister attended the meeting.

“I want Minister Lavrov to look her in the eye and see her suffering. I want you to see what it’s like to miss your brother for four years. Knowing he’s locked up in a Russian penal colony just because you want to use him for your own ends,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan, stands as she is recognized by U.S. Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters April 24, 2023 in New York City becomes.

Michael M Santiago | Getty Images

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, sitting next to Lavrov, criticized Russia’s war, saying it violated the United Nations Charter and international law.

The conflict, he said, “is causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people and is contributing to the global economic dislocation unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He warned that tensions between the world’s major powers were at an “historical high”.

Guterres also called for the expansion of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a United Nations-backed accord that established a humanitarian sea corridor for Ukrainian agricultural produce.

The agreement has allowed more than 25 million tons of grain and foodstuffs to leave Ukrainian ports for destinations around the world. Russia has previously said it may not renew the deal, which expires in mid-May.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters April 24, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M Santiago | News from Getty Images | Getty Images

British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has “brought unimaginable suffering to that country while trampling on the UN Charter”.

“Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and millions have been displaced,” she said, adding that billions of people around the world are feeling the brunt of higher energy prices and food insecurity due to the ongoing conflict in the Kremlin.

She added that the war also triggered “an absolute catastrophe for Russia.”

Japan’s envoy has also blasted Moscow’s war, calling for an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

“It is ironic, even a tragedy, that the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is continuing its unilateral aggression against Ukraine while staging an open debate on effective multilateralism by defending the principles of the UN Charter .” said Ishikane Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations.

“Russia’s unprovoked, sustained aggression is nothing but a flagrant violation of the principles of the UN Charter,” he added.

You might also like

Comments are closed.