The world’s highest diplomatic stage at the UN Security Council (UNSC) has been handed over to Russia’s foreign minister calling Volodymyr Zelensky a ‘b*****d’ and stepping down after a series of condemnations and disappointments. war crimes charges against Russia.
Almost all of the foreign ministers of the 15 UNSC members present at Thursday’s meeting expressed growing frustration over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with even Moscow’s closest allies taking an increasingly darker.
Many have called out Vladimir Putin for the recent nuclear threats he has made, with the strength of tone of that criticism depending on their government’s stance on the war.
Eventually, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Ukrainian president a “b*****d” and slammed the “Western collective” for seeing him as “their b*****d.”
“Such outrages go unpunished because the United States and its allies, with the connivance of international human rights institutes, covered up the crimes of the Kyiv regime based on the policy of ‘Zelensky could be ab* ****d, but that’s our b*****d’,” the foreign secretary said.
He walked out after his speech and sat out for most of the session, having already arrived 90 minutes late – missing the briefing from UN chief Antonio Guterres.
“What is particularly cynical here is the position of the states that fill Ukraine with weapons and train their soldiers,” Lavrov said.
“The goal is… to make the fighting last as long as possible despite casualties and destruction to exhaust and weaken Russia.
“The intentional fomentation of this conflict by the Western collective goes unpunished.”
Addressing the council immediately after Mr Lavrov, Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he was “not surprised” that the Russian Foreign Secretary left the chamber after receiving the “condemnation collective of this council”.
He said the Kremlin had tried to “put the blame on those imposing sanctions” and that “every day the devastating consequences of the Russian invasion are becoming clearer.”
Russia’s allies – India, China and Brazil, which have often avoided or outright opposed Western views on the invasion – have also spoken of the severe consequences of the war upsetting food and energy security around the world on a harder tone than before.
“The trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine is a matter of deep concern for the entire international community. The outlook for the future looks even more ominous,” Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar said.
“If blatant attacks in broad daylight go unpunished, this council needs to reflect on the signals we send about impunity. There has to be consistency if we are to ensure credibility,” he added.
Without mentioning Russia in a carefully worded statement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined China’s firm position that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected.” The purposes of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations must be respected.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Mr Putin for his veiled reference to the use of nuclear weapons in wartime.
“Every member of the council must send a clear message that these irresponsible nuclear threats must stop immediately. Tell President Putin to stop the horror he started,” Mr Blinken said.
“A man chose this war. One man can end it,” he added. “Because if Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine stops.
Foreign ministers and senior officials from Albania, France, Ireland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Norway have leveled similar rebukes at Russia and the war .
“Russia’s actions are a flagrant violation of the UN Charter,” Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka said. “We all tried to prevent this conflict. We cannot, but we must not fail to hold Russia accountable. »
Mr Lavrov was not present at the meeting when Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for the creation of a special tribunal to hold Russian leaders accountable for alleged war crimes.
“There will be no peace without justice,” Mr. Kuleba said. “None of Russia’s crimes in Ukraine would be possible without the crime of aggression.”
He ridiculed Mr Lavrov for leaving the room, saying: “I notice that Russian diplomats are fleeing almost as fast as Russian soldiers.”
Mr Guterres called Russia’s nuclear threats against the West “completely unacceptable” and warned that the latest developments in Ukraine were “dangerous and disturbing”. He said it was one more step towards an “endless cycle of horror and bloodshed”.
The Independent Gt