(United Nations) Kyiv’s allies on Monday denounced Russia’s “cynicism” in organizing a special meeting of the Security Council chaired by Sergei Lavrov on the “defence of the principles” of the UN Charter that it has violated by invading Ukraine.
“By organizing this debate, Russia is trying to present itself as a defender of the UN Charter and of multilateralism. Nothing could be further from the truth, it’s cynical,” denounced European Ambassador Olof Skoog, surrounded by representatives of the 27 EU countries.
On February 23, the first anniversary of the invasion, the UN General Assembly again overwhelmingly (141 votes for, 7 against, 32 abstentions) demanded the “immediate” withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine.
“If effective multilateralism matters to Russia, this is the first way to prove it,” insisted the European ambassador.
Russia holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council in April and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the trip to chair this meeting, one of the “signature” events of this presidency.
“Today, another systemic transformation is at work: the unipolar world order is naturally reaching its limits and rapidly declining, while a new multipolar system is emerging,” the text adds.
The United Nations system “is going through a deep crisis”, Sergei Lavrov told the Security Council, accusing the West, and in particular the United States, of being responsible for it.
“It’s not just about Ukraine. It is about how international relations will continue to be shaped by building solid consensus based on a balance of interests or by aggressively and explosively advancing Washington’s hegemony,” he said. .
Sitting alongside Sergei Lavrov, the UN Secretary General bluntly denounced the invasion of Ukraine, “in violation” of international law and the UN Charter.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, is causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people, adding to the global economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “said Antonio Guterres.
“The multilateral system is under greater strain than at any time since the establishment of the United Nations,” he added, pointing to “tenses at the highest” between “the great powers.”
“We are facing unprecedented interlocking crises,” he said, warning of “the risks of conflict, through misadventure or misjudgment.”
During the Council meeting, UN Charter in hand, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield for her part underlined the importance of defending her values. But “Russia, the hypocritical organizer of today’s meeting, invaded its neighbor Ukraine and struck at the heart of the UN charter,” she insisted.
Faced with Sergei Lavrov, she also directly called for the release of Americans imprisoned in Russia Evan Gershkovich, journalist of the prestigious American daily Wall Street Journal arrested at the end of March, and Paul Whelan, former marine detained since 2018.
“Using people as pawns is a strategy of weakness,” she said, challenging the Russian minister to “look into the eyes” of Paul Whelan’s sister in the room and her “suffering.”