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Foreign Minister Lavrov leaves UN meeting as allies criticize Russia over Ukraine war

“We cannot – we will not – allow President Putin to ignore it,” Blinken said during Thursday’s meeting, held during the high-level week of the United Nations General Assembly.

The meeting comes amid a week of escalating actions by Moscow, including orders to mobilize hundreds of thousands of troops and planning a “fake referendum” in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.

“What President Putin chose this week, when most of the world gathered at the United Nations, to add fuel to the fire, he began to show his total disdain and contempt,” Blinken said. to the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly of the United Nations and this Council”. .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was absent from the room for all but his own remarks, in which he dismissed widespread international condemnation and again blamed Kyiv for Moscow’s invasion.

Blinken and others, including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have highlighted atrocities discovered in Ukraine, the global impacts of the war on things like food security, and called on Russia to stop its nuclear bombardment.

The top US diplomat said Vladimir Putin’s threat to use “all available weapons systems” against Russia was “all the more threatening if Russia intends to annex a large area”. of Ukraine in the coming days.”

“When that’s done, we can expect President Putin to declare any attempt by Ukraine to liberate this land as an attack on so-called Russian territory,” Blinken explained. “This comes from a country that in January of this year, in this place, together with other permanent members of the Security Council signed a statement asserting that, and I quote, ‘nuclear war’ can never win and never have to fight.’ Yet another example of how Russia violated the commitments it made before the agency, and another reason why today No one should arrest Russia on their word.”

“Every Council member should send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must stop immediately,” he said.

Blinken said Russia’s effort to annex more Ukrainian territory – which US officials say is the expected next step after the referendum was held by leaders known as the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – backed by Russia this week “another dangerous escalation and denial of diplomacy.”

“It’s even more alarming, given the water purification operations that Russian forces have been carrying out across parts of Ukraine that they control,” Blinken said. “It’s a diabolical strategy: violently uprooting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians; taking a bus in Russia to replace them; calling for a vote; and manipulating the results to show near support. like unanimously for joining the Russian Federation. Immediately out of the play Crimea.”

Putin can summon all the troops he wants, but Russia cannot train or support them

He again called for accountability for crimes uncovered in formerly Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine such as Bucha, Irpin, Izyum, where mass graves were discovered and survivors were discovered. recount the acts of torture.

“These are not the actions of rogue units; they fit a clear pattern across the entire territory controlled by Russian forces,” Blinken said. “This is one of many reasons that we support a wide range of national and international efforts to collect and examine evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.”

Blinken reiterated that the United States will continue to support Ukraine and urged others to do the same.

“President Putin is making his choice. Now all our countries are deciding our choice. Tell President Putin to stop the horror he started. Tell him to stop putting his own interests above the interests of the world, including his own. People. Tell him to stop bringing down this Council and everything it stands for.” Blinken said.

“One person chose this war. And one person can end it,” he said. “Because if Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

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