United Nations, Sep 22 (EFE).- The Western powers rallied around Kyiv during Thursday’s session of the United Nations Security Council, devoted to discussion of Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
It was the first ministerial-level meeting of the 15-member Security Council since before Russia invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24.
The United States, United Kingdom and nations of the European Union blasted Russia’s recent announcement that it will mobilize an additional 300,000 troops for what Moscow calls the “special military operation” and reiterated their commitment to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.
Defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is about much more than standing up for a country’s right to choose its own path, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“Fundamental as that right is, it’s also about protecting an international order, where no nation can redraw the borders of another by force,” he said.
“If we fail to defend this principle, when the Kremlin is so flagrantly violating it, we send a message to aggressors everywhere that they can ignore it, too. We put every country at risk. We open the door to a less secure, a less peaceful world,” Washington’s top diplomat said.
Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, accused Russia of engaging in a “war of annexation, of conquest.”
Speaking for Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected the premise of Thursday’s session, denouncing the West for ignoring the aggression of the Ukrainian government against its own citizens in the eastern part of the country for eight years leading up to Moscow’s invasive.
“Books are being destroyed just as in Nazi Germany, and ethnic Russians are being subjected to intolerance. And today, the officials from Ukraine have no longer even tried to hide their anti-Russian feelings, calling on the killing of Russians,” he said.
Lavrov did not enter the council chamber until it was time for him to speak and he left immediately afterward.
China – one of the five permanent Security Council members along with the US, UK, Russia and France – maintained its position in favor of a negotiated settlement.
Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said that his government is “concerned that the Security Council has not been capable of fulfilling its essential function of guaranteeing peace and security” and advocated “structural reforms” to address that incapacity.
And he pointed to expressions of support from around the world for Mexico’s proposal for a “mediation committee” comprising figures such as Pope Francis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to preside over talks between Ukraine and Russia. EFE