Foreign minister defends his country’s invasion of Ukraine
New York City
Sep 24, 2022
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov railed against the US and its western allies in his address to the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Speaking in place of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not travelled to the annual gathering of world leaders since 2015, Mr Lavrov accused the US of meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries.
“At some point in the past, declaring that they were victorious in the Cold War, Washington erected themselves into an almost envoy of God on Earth without any obligations, but only the sacred right to act with impunity wherever and wherever they want,” he told the 193-member General Assembly.
Mr Lavrov defended his country’s seven-month invasion of Ukraine that has brought some of the fiercest fighting on the European continent since the Second World War.
About 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the conflict, with thousands more injured.
The Russian Defence Ministry has put its death toll at 6,000 soldiers but western estimates have it considerably higher.
After setbacks in the East and South, Mr Putin called up 300,000 reserve troop this week to try to turn the tide.
In a televised address to the nation, he renewed his threat of nuclear war stating Russia was prepared to use “all the means at our disposal”.
Russia has been the subject of harsh criticism throughout the General Assembly, with several countries calling for it to be stripped of its position on the Security Council.
Mr Lavrov accused western countries of undermining “trust in international institutions”.
He accused the US of being a hegemony that was controlling the UN.
“The future of the world order is being decided today and it is clear to any impartial objective,” Mr Lavrov said.
He said “the question is whether or not it’s going to be the kind of order with one hegemon” making every other country follow its rules for its own benefit only.
“Or are we going to have a democratic, fair world without blackmail and without setting fear into the unwanted without neo-colonialism?”
Updated: September 24, 2022, 8:57 PM