Zelensky accuses U.N. Security Council of inaction on Russian invasion

UNITED NATIONS — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday denounced what he known as U.N. Security Council inaction on Russia’s invasion of his nation, in a uncommon interplay with senior Russian policymakers contained in the United Nations.

Clad in an olive-green military-style shirt, Zelensky demanded that nations that violate U.N. ideas and unjustly invade different nations be suspended from their Security Council seats. He spoke simply steps away from the fiery Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, who scrolled by way of his telephone and stared forward with ambivalence because the Ukrainian chief delivered his handle.

“Most of the world recognizes the truth about this war,” Zelensky advised the chamber. “We should recognize that the U.N. finds itself in a deadlock on the matters of aggression,” he stated. “World leaders are seeking new platforms and alliances that could reduce the disastrous scope of problems, the problems that are met here within these walls with rhetoric rather than real solutions, with aspirations to compromise with killers, rather than to protect lives.”

Zelensky’s look at a U.N. Security Council debate got here a day earlier than what U.S. and Ukrainian officers deem a collection of essential conversations in Washington. He is scheduled to begin the day with conferences in Congress, go to the Pentagon to fulfill its prime management after which go to the Oval Office within the afternoon.

Amid cracks in Republican assist for persevering with to fund Ukraine’s warfare effort, Zelensky’s Washington outreach obtained a lift Wednesday when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) agreed to host a gathering with him and different House members Thursday morning. The improvement adopted days of ambiguity from the Republican chief, who had refused to say whether or not he’d discuss to Zelensky as sure members of his fractious caucus search to curtail U.S. assist for the warfare.

The go to comes at a “critical time, as Russia is reaching out” to nations like North Korea and Iran, stated White House spokesman John Kirby. Biden can get a “battlefield perspective from the Ukrainian commander in chief” because the counteroffensive geared toward retaking Russia-occupied territory grinds onward, Kirby stated.

The Security Council debate was Zelensky’s second look on the U.N. gathering, following his speech to the complete meeting Tuesday. His handle Wednesday was stuffed with particular proposals to broaden Security Council illustration and to droop Russia’s veto energy over the physique, which has stymied essentially the most punitive U.N. proposals in response to the invasion.

But it was the proximity of Zelensky to the Russian delegation that held essentially the most cost on Wednesday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov skipped Zelensky’s look.

Instead, it was Nebenzya within the Russian seat on the desk. He solely briefly glanced on the Ukrainian chief as Zelensky leveled complaints in regards to the Russian “aggressor” and spoke of what he known as the necessity for better international illustration among the many everlasting membership.

Zelensky left the Security Council following his remarks to the world physique, declining a faceoff with Lavrov, as neither official appeared curious about dignifying the opposite along with his presence.

Zelensky’s early departure additionally meant he missed the remarks of key Western allies, together with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who used his talking slot to accuse Russia of demonstrating “contempt” for the U.N. system.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “betting that if he keeps doubling down on the violence, that if he’s willing to inflict enough suffering on enough people, the world will cave on its principles, and Ukraine will stop defending itself,” Blinken stated. “But Ukrainians are not giving up.”

Lavrov, who arrived on the council shortly earlier than delivering his remarks, assailed the United States for meddling in Ukraine, accusing Washington of shopping for off Ukrainian officers. He additionally attacked the Security Council for “selectively” respecting the U.N. Charter.

Other leaders who have been within the chamber stated that Lavrov’s handle left little hope for a decision to the battle anytime quickly.

“With almost every country, including China, you can find some common ground,” Czech President Petr Pavel stated in an interview. “With Russia, it’s like we move into parallel universes. Their vision of the world is, to a large extent, sometimes deliberately different from all the others.”

“I don’t see any chance on starting meaningful discussion,” he stated.

China’s vice international minister, Ma Zhaoxu, touted China’s efforts at facilitating negotiations within the battle, saying his nation has “played a positive and constructive role” in making an attempt to resolve the disaster by way of its 12-point peace plan. That doc, which requires ending hostilities and starting peace talks, has drawn little criticism from most nations, but it surely has not gained traction since Beijing put it ahead earlier this yr.

As leaders and diplomats filed into the chamber forward of the controversy, nobody appeared to wish to discuss to the Russians. As others mingled, Nebenzya sat alone on the curving desk and infrequently rotated to trade phrases with the opposite Russian diplomats behind him.

Then, as proceedings obtained underway, he interrupted the controversy, making an attempt to make use of procedural guidelines to pressure the Ukrainians to talk after all of the members of the Security Council, reasonably than on the outset.

“They’re trying to transform [the Security Council] into a one-man stand-up show,” Nebenzya stated.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who’s holding the council president’s chair this month, fired again, saying “there is a solution for this, if you agree. You stop the war, and President Zelensky will not take the floor.”

Russia’s veto “has paralyzed the council but has not reduced it to silence,” he stated later within the debate.

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres additionally known as for an finish to the warfare, condemning Russian motion that he stated was endangering not solely Ukrainians but additionally the whole world. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in clear violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, is aggravating geopolitical tensions and divisions, threatening regional stability, increasing the nuclear threat, and creating deep fissures in our increasingly multipolar world,” he stated.

Ukraine’s fiercest backers had hoped for a White House announcement in the course of the Zelensky go to to ship the long-range ATACMS, the Army Tactical Missile System, that Ukraine has stated would assist it goal Russian headquarters and demanding resupply routes which can be positioned removed from the entrance. But Kirby, the White House spokesman, appeared to counsel that the transfer was unlikely this week.

“ATACMS are not off the table. We continue to have discussions about that particular weapons system, but no decision has been made,” he stated.

Wednesday’s U.N. diplomacy coincided with a high-level Chinese go to to Moscow, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi opting to skip New York in favor of assembly Putin. The Russian chief praised “the high level” of Moscow’s relationship with Beijing, underscoring how the nations discovered widespread floor in opposition to U.S. “hegemony.”

“As for international affairs, we stand here from a united position on the formation of a multipolar world, and not a world based on some rules that no one has seen and which change every day for the benefit of those who came up with this ridiculous formula,” Putin stated.

Mary Ilyushina in Riga, Latvia, Sarah Dadouch in Beirut, and Abigail Hauslohner and Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.

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