The world’s top diplomatic stage at the UN Security Council (UNSC) has turned into Russia’s foreign minister calling Volodymyr Zelensky a “b*****d” and walking out after a round of conviction and war crimes charges against Russia.
Nearly all the foreign ministers of the 15 UNSC members present at Thursday’s meeting expressed growing frustration with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with even Moscow’s closest allies taking an increasingly bleak view.
Many have criticized Vladimir Putin for the recent nuclear threats he has made, with the strength of the tone of that criticism depending on his government’s stance on the war.
Eventually, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Ukrainian president a “b*****d” and criticized the “collective West” for considering him “its b*****d”.
“Such outrages remain unpunished because the United States and its allies with the connivance of international human rights institutes have been covering up the crimes of the Kyiv regime on the basis of the policy of ‘Zelensky may be ab****, but he is our b**** ****d’”, said the foreign minister.
He left after his speech and remained absent for most of the session having already arrived 90 minutes late – missing a briefing by UN chief Antonio Guterres.
“What is particularly cynical here is the position of states that are filling Ukraine with weapons and training their soldiers,” Lavrov said.
“The aim is… to prolong the struggle as long as possible, despite casualties and destruction, in order to wear down and weaken Russia.
“The intentional fomentation of this conflict by the collective West remains unpunished.”
Addressing the council immediately after Lavrov, Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he was “not surprised” that Russia’s foreign minister left the chamber after receiving the “collective condemnation of this council”. ”.
He said the Kremlin had tried to “blame those who impose sanctions” and that “every day, the devastating consequences of the invasion of Russia become clearer”.
Russia’s allies – India, China and Brazil, who often avoided or openly opposed Western views on the invasion – also spoke out about the grave consequences of the war, bringing down the world’s food and energy bonds in a harsher tone than ever before. than before.
“The trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine is of deep concern to the entire international community. The future prospects look even more disturbing,” said Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar.
“If blatant attacks committed in broad daylight go unpunished, this council should reflect on the signals we are sending out of impunity. There must be consistency if we are to ensure credibility,” he added.
Without mentioning Russia in a carefully worded statement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out China’s firm position that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. The purposes of the UN Charter principles must be observed.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Putin for his veiled reference to the use of nuclear weapons in war.
“Every board member must send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must stop immediately. Tell President Putin to stop the horror he started,” Blinken said.
“One man chose this war. One man can end it,” he added. “Because if Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”
Foreign ministers and senior officials from Albania, France, Ireland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Norway have similarly criticized Russia and the war.
“Russia’s actions are a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations,” said Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka. “We all try to avoid this conflict. We could not, but we must not, hold Russia accountable.”
Lavrov was not at the meeting when Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba demanded a special tribunal to hold Russian leaders accountable for alleged war crimes.
“There will be no peace without justice,” Kuleba said. “None of Russia’s crimes in Ukraine would be possible without the crime of aggression.”
He mocked Lavrov for leaving the room, saying, “I notice that Russian diplomats flee almost as quickly as Russian soldiers.”
Guterres called Russia’s nuclear threats against the West “totally unacceptable” and warned that the latest developments in Ukraine were “dangerous and disturbing”. He said it was one step closer to an “endless cycle of horror and bloodshed”.