World

Blinken calls out Russia for “sham referenda” to annex parts of Ukraine and “reckless nuclear threats”

United Nations – At a meeting intended as a face-to-face confrontation between top diplomats from the United States, Russia and Russia, UkraineForeign Minister Antony Blinken has sent a harsh message to Russia and world powers that “reckless nuclear threats must stop immediately”.

His comments echoed the speech by President Biden Wednesday at the UN, in which Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “irresponsible threats to use nuclear weapons”. a few hours before, Putin ordered the partial mobilization of hundreds of thousands of additional Russian troops and suggested the possible use of nuclear weapons.

In his speech on Thursday, Blinken also quoted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose pre-recorded comments were played in the General Assembly Hall on Wednesdaysaying “diplomacy is the only way to end this war.”

“Diplomacy cannot and should not be used as a cudgel to impose a regime on Ukraine that violates the UN charter, or reward Russia for violating it,” Blinken added.

He then explained what he called Russia’s “devilish strategy” of uprooting Ukrainians and moving Russian citizens into Russian-occupied land; holding a “mock referendum”; annex the territory; and then defend the areas it would consider its own territory.

Read:China Defends ‘Fair’ Ukraine Approach as Zelensky Bemoans Xi’s Silence

“One man chose this war. One man can end it,” Blinken said, referring to Putin. “Because if Russia stops fighting, the war will end. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine will end.”

Blinken’s speech was delivered to the 15-nation Security Council during the United Nations General Assembly. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was not in the room for Blinken’s comments. He arrived to give his own speech and promptly left afterwards.

In his speech, Lavrov accused western countries – citing the US, France and Germany – for imposing “an entirely different story about Russian aggression” and referred to alleged rights violations by “mercenaries” “who are citizens of the UK.” , Canada, the US and the Netherlands.” He also mentioned unspecified “threats to Russian security”.

The result was clear to most countries calling for diplomatic efforts – that a diplomatic solution to the Russian war against Ukraine would not come at the meeting.

France, as president of the September Council, had convened the meeting. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna accused Russia of “unspeakable crimes” and called for accountability. International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan told the council that the ICC is sending investigators to Ukraine to investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity after it opened an investigation six months ago.

Read:Former Putin adviser threatens nuclear strikes on UK: ‘Your cities will be targeted’

When it came time for Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to speak on Thursday, he said “there will be no peace without justice”, reiterating his president’s call for a special tribunal to be established.

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters at the UN on Wednesday that the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya, was shelled this week, saying: “We are playing with fire.”

At Thursday’s council meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi backed calls for investigations into violations of international law and urged restraint. The Chinese foreign minister had no plans to attend the UN high-level session, the mission told CBS News. But he will now meet with Blinken on Friday, the foreign ministry announced, to discuss “a range of bilateral and global issues”.

The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, admitted unspecified “concerns‘ about the fighting in Ukraine in mid-September.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who was responsible for brokering a grain deal between Ukraine and Russia in July, was skeptical of a peace deal.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine shows no signs of cessation,” he said, adding that the seven months of war “has known unspeakable suffering and destruction.”

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Lavrov is expected to address the General Assembly on Friday.

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