Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to as on each United Nations Common Meeting member to “ship a transparent message” to Russia that it should cease its nuclear threats within the struggle in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned earlier this week that his nuclear-armed nation will “definitely use all means obtainable to us” if its territory is threatened and to defend the nation and its folks.
Blinken used a council session Thursday to criticize Russia’s invasion and press different international locations to hitch in Washington’s forceful condemnations of the battle. He listed atrocities he mentioned had been dedicated by Russia — and recommended that extra may come.
“Each council member ought to ship a transparent message that these reckless nuclear threats should cease instantly,” he mentioned.
The Safety Council has held dozens of contentious conferences on Ukraine because the struggle started in February, however Thursday’s assembly had particular stature: It was held in the course of the annual U.N. Common Meeting gathering of world leaders and introduced a number of international ministers to the desk.
Referred to as by France, the present council president, the assembly was centered on addressing accountability for alleged abuses and atrocities, and the U.S. and different Western members repeatedly accused Russia of committing them.
Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov, in the meantime, repeated his nation’s frequent claims that Kyiv has lengthy oppressed Russian audio system in Ukraine’s east — one in every of varied explanations Moscow has provided for the invasion.
Ukraine’s Western allies, he mentioned, “have been protecting up the crimes of the Kyiv regime.”
Lavrov was not within the room when Blinken and another U.S. allies spoke, solely showing simply earlier than his personal speech.
Regardless of Blinken’s forceful phrases, nobody expects the council to behave in opposition to Russia since Moscow has veto energy as a everlasting member.
As a substitute, a U.S. official mentioned Blinken’s goal was to persuade different members to impress upon Moscow the worldwide injury that the struggle is inflicting and demand that it finish. The official spoke on the situation of anonymity to preview Blinken’s speech earlier than he spoke.
The assembly got here a day after President Joe Biden assailed Putin for what he referred to as egregious violations of the U.N. Constitution and worldwide regulation. On the Safety Council, Blinken made the case that Russia ought to face additional censure and isolation for its invasion.
In itemizing a number of allegations of struggle crimes and different atrocities, he referred to as on international locations which have but to talk out forcefully in opposition to them as an affront to worldwide order.
He famous that the struggle had not solely induced large destruction to Ukraine and the Ukrainian folks, but additionally distracted the council from different world crises, together with potential famines, local weather change and widespread poverty.
Because the assembly started, there have been already indicators of a charged ambiance across the council’s well-known horseshoe-shaped desk.
Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba wryly instructed reporters beforehand that he deliberate to maintain a “protected social distance” from Lavrov.
And as council staffers ready to place a placard marking Ukraine’s seat subsequent to Russia’s, Kuleba apparently raised objections — the placard was moved to a different spot. Lavrov was not within the room at that time.
The Worldwide Prison Court docket opened an investigation in March into potential crimes amid the struggle and despatched groups to collect proof. Prosecutor Karim Khan instructed the council Thursday that he’s dispatching extra staffers subsequent week to look into allegations rising from japanese Ukraine.
Khan hasn’t but introduced any prices linked to the battle, however he reiterated to the council that he believes there are affordable grounds to suppose that crimes have been dedicated.
“The image that I’ve seen thus far is troubling certainly,” he mentioned.
Ukraine, in the meantime, has pushed for the creation of a particular tribunal to prosecute alleged struggle crimes.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s president laid out an in depth case in opposition to Russia’s invasion on the U.N. and demanded punishment from world leaders in a speech delivered simply hours after Moscow made a rare announcement that it could mobilize some reservists for the struggle effort.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed in a video deal with to world leaders that his forces wouldn’t cease till that they had reclaimed all of Ukraine.
“We are able to return the Ukrainian flag to our complete territory. We are able to do it with the drive of arms,” he mentioned. “However we want time.”