West, UN head criticize Russia’s top ambassador for conflict in Ukraine
As he presided over a U.N. conference on Monday, the head of the organization and officials from Western countries scolded Moscow for allegedly assaulting Ukraine and occupying some of its land in violation of the U.N. Charter.
Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, reacted by justifying his nation’s military action and accusing the US and its allies of undermining international diplomacy, the cornerstone of the UN, which was established to avert a third world war.
The United Nations’ 193 member countries, according to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, are the organization’s “beating heart” and “guiding vision,” but he cautioned the Security Council that international cooperation is currently facing its greatest test since the organization’s founding in 1945 on the ruins of World War II.
According to him, risks of violence “through misadventure or miscalculation” are at a “historic high” due to tensions between major countries, and he specifically cited the crisis in Ukraine as an example.
The U.N. secretary-general, the ambassadors of the U.S., Britain, France, and their allies all cited the fundamental principle of the U.N. Charter, which states that all nations must support the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every nation. This principle was broken by Russia on February 24, 2022, when it invaded its smaller neighbor and forcibly annexed several regions.
The ministerial meeting on strengthening “multilateralism”—when nations cooperate—through the defense of the United Nations Charter was organized by Russia, who hailed it as the pinnacle of its month-long Security Council leadership. Long-serving U.N. diplomats and officials say that this has been the most acrimonious administration they can recall, and Monday’s gathering further heightened the hostility.
The “illegal, unnecessary, and provocation-free” war in Ukraine “struck at the heart of the United Nations Charter and all that we hold dear,” according to the U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who also referred to Russia as the meeting’s “hypocritical convener.”
Barbara Woodward, the British representative to the United Nations, stated that the world has witnessed “what Russia’s idea of multilateralism means for the world” — namely, the violation of the U.N. Charter and a conflict that has caused Ukraine immeasurable misery and been “an unmitigated disaster for Russia, too.”
The European Union, which has 27 members, described Russia’s attempt to represent itself as a supporter of the United Nations Charter and multilateralism as “cynical,” adding that it is “in contempt” of both the Charter and resolutions passed by the U.N. General Assembly requesting the removal of Russian soldiers.