NEW YORK (AP) – The tide of international opinion is turning decisively against Russia, as several non-aligned countries join the United States and its allies in condemning Moscow’s war in Ukraine. and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order.
Western officials have repeatedly said Russia has been isolated since its invasion of Ukraine in February. Until recently, however, this was largely wishful thinking. But on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, much of the international community raised its voice against the conflict in a rare show of unity in an often fragmented United Nations.
The tide had turned against Putin even before the UN speeches on Thursday. At a high-level summit in Uzbekistan last week, Chinese and Indian leaders criticized the war. And then the UN General Assembly disregarded Russia’s objections and voted overwhelmingly to allow Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Instead of being the sole leader to address the body remotely, instead of requiring him to be present in person.
The turn against Russia intensified after President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced the mobilization of some 300,000 additional troops to Ukraine, indicating no prospect of a quick end to the war. Putin also suggested that nuclear weapons could be an option. This was followed by an announcement of Russia’s intention to hold independence referendums in several occupied Ukrainian territories, keeping an eye on possible occupation.
Those announcements were made at the same time as the General Assembly, The event, considered to be the major event in the global diplomatic calendar, was taking place in New York.
Many world leaders used their speeches on Tuesday and Wednesday To condemn the war of Russia. The trend continued on Thursday in both the assembly hall and the generally deeply divided United Nations Security Council, where, one by one, nearly all 15 council members harshly criticized Russia – one council member – already agitating many. to serious global crisis and jeopardize the foundation of the world body.
The apparent change in opinion offers some hope for Ukraine and its Western allies that increased isolation will increase pressure on Putin to negotiate peace. But some people are unnecessarily optimistic. Putin has staked his legacy on the Ukraine war and few expect him to back down. And, Russia is hardly isolated. Many of its allies depend on it for energy, food and military aid and are likely to stand by Putin no matter what happens in Ukraine.
Still, the comments followed last week’s comments to Russia’s nominal friends such as China and India, speaking of serious concerns about the conflict and its impact on global food and energy shortages, as well as threats to concepts of sovereignty. It was amazing to hear. Territorial integrity that is enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
Brazil lodged similar concerns. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are part of the so-called BRICS countries, which have often opposed Western initiatives and views on international relations.
Only one country, Belarus, a non-council member and Russia ally who was invited to participate, spoke out in support of Russia, but also called for an early end to the fighting, which it called a “tragedy”. Told.
“We hear a lot about divisions between countries at the United Nations,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “But recently, there is remarkable unity among member states when it comes to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Leaders of developing and developed countries, large and small, north and south, have called in the General Assembly the consequences of the war and its end. Talk about need.
“Even many countries that maintain close ties with Moscow have publicly stated that they have serious questions and concerns about President Putin’s ongoing aggression,” Blinken said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was careful not to condemn the war, but said China’s firm stand is that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected. The principles of the United Nations Charter followed the objectives of the United Nations Charter.” should go.”
Indian Foreign Secretary S. “The trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of grave concern to the international community,” Jaishankar said. He called for accountability for the atrocities and abuses committed in Ukraine. “If the serious attacks made in broad daylight are left out, this council should reflect on the signals we are sending on impunity. If we have to ensure credibility, there has to be consistency.”
And Brazil’s Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franca said immediate efforts to end the war are vital. “The continuation of hostilities puts the lives of innocent civilians at risk and the food and energy security of millions of families in other regions, especially in developing countries,” he said. “The risks posed to the current dynamics of conflict are enormous, and its consequences for the world order are unpredictable.”
Foreign ministers and top officials from Albania, Britain, France, Ireland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Norway drew similar rebukes.
Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhaka said “Russia’s action is a gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations.” “We all tried to stop this conflict. We could not, but we must not fail to hold Russia accountable.”
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard called the invasion a “gross violation of international law” and Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said: “If we fail to hold Russia accountable, we send a message to the big countries that they should respect their neighbours. can hunt.”
Unsurprisingly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was unapproachable and defensive at the same time and targeted Zelensky in particular. Lavrov called Zelensky “a bastard”, often citing a phrase often attributed to President Franklin Roosevelt, but said that Western leaders regarded him as “our bastard”.
He reiterated a long list of Russia’s complaints about Ukraine and accused Western countries of using Ukraine for anti-Russian activities and policies.
“What I said today confirms that the decision to conduct a special military operation was inevitable,” Lavrov said after the Russian practice of not calling the offensive a war.
Russia has denied being isolated and the foreign ministry has used social media in recent days to publicize Lavrov’s several cordial meetings with foreign minister colleagues at the United Nations.
Still, Blinken and his allies from other NATO countries confided about the growing opposition and impatience with Putin.
And, several speakers, including Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, pointed out that Lavrov skipped the meeting, leaving his place to speak.
“I’ve seen Russian diplomats run away almost as quickly as Russian soldiers,” Kuleba said, referring to the recent retreat of Russian troops in Ukraine as well as Lavrov’s hasty exit.