Countries speak at UN: ”Ukraine, you are not alone”

Diplomats from dozens of countries spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday to deplore Russia’s actions toward Ukraine and make calls for diplomacy at the last hour as fears of another war in Europe grew.

Russia and Ally Syria have defended Moscow’s decision to recognize two breakaway regions of Ukraine as independent and to order Russian troops for “peacekeeping”. But even China, which usually takes Moscow’s side at the UN, has championed the world body’s longstanding principle of respecting countries’ sovereignty and internationally recognized borders.

Meeting a day after Western powers and other countries imposed new sanctions on Russia, the 193-member General Assembly took no collective action. But comments from nearly 70 nations, with more prices for Monday, represented the largest forum for global sentiment as the crisis escalated significantly this week. Countries from Guatemala to Turkey to Japan have condemned Russia’s embrace of claims of independence from breakaway regions or taking over Ukraine. “Ukraine, you are not alone,” said Bulgarian Ambassador Lachezara Stoiva.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged countries “to step down from the margins”. “There is no middle ground here. Calling on both sides to defuse just gives Russia a free pass. Russia is the aggressor here,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield warned that the confrontation could escalate into a refugee crisis, estimating that 5 million people could be displaced and could drive up food prices in developing countries where Ukraine supplies wheat.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun did not mention Russia by name, but stressed Beijing’s stance “on safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states” and respecting the China Charter. the UN.

Echoing a story being broadcast to Russians at home, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia described his country as responding to the plight of those under siege in the raging areas. Russia claims that Ukraine is committed to violence and oppression which Ukraine denies.

“We urge you today to focus on reining in Kyiv,” Nebenzia said.

Syria stood up for Russia and accused the west of using the assembly to pressure Moscow.

“The Ukrainian crisis was created by Western states, led by the United States, to divide peoples and undermine Russian security,” said Ambassador Bassam al-Sabbagh, condemning “attempts to offend” Russia. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba implored countries to use tough economic sanctions, powerful messages and “active diplomacy” to get Russia to back down. A fluffy response would endanger not only Ukraine, but also the concept of international law and global security, he warned. “We must use this last chance for action and stop Russia where it is,” Kuleba said.

Russia seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and pro-Russian rebels have since been fought off Ukrainian forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. More than 14,000 people have been killed in the conflict. After weeks of growing tension as Moscow mustered more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of the two regions and ordered Russian forces there to be there as needed. called “peacekeepers”. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres disputed this, saying they are troops entering another country without its consent. “Our world faces a moment of peril,” Guterres told the Assembly. He said Russia’s actions violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and are “inconsistent with” the UN Charter.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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