Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed the West, especially the United States, for a “serious crisis” in the UN system.
Ukraine’s international allies blasted Russia at a U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that focused on protecting the principles of the U.N. Charter, which Moscow itself accused of violating last year’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a note to UN member states, Russia condemned the “unipolar world order” that came into force after the end of the Cold War in the context of Monday’s meeting.
Before the meeting, Lavrov said the UN system was “going through a deep crisis” and blamed Western countries, especially the US, for it.
“It’s not just about Ukraine,” he told reporters.
“It’s about how to continue to shape international relations by building a sound consensus based on a balance of interests, or by actively and volatilely advancing Washington’s hegemony,” Lavrov said.
Russia currently holds the monthly presidency of the UN Security Council and will organize the meeting as one of the “signature” events of its tenure.
Speaking at the conference, Lavrov warned that the world was at a tipping point that was “potentially more dangerous” than during the Cold War.
“It’s getting worse with the loss of trust in multilateralism,” he said. “Let’s be blunt. Nobody allows minorities in the West to speak for all of humanity,” he added.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who sat next to Lavrov during the meeting, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “violation” of international law and the U.N. Charter.
Guterres said the war “is causing enormous suffering and destruction to the country and its people, and is exacerbating the global economic dislocation sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The multilateral system is under more pressure than ever since the creation of the United Nations,” he said. “Tensions between major powers are at an all-time high. So are the risks of conflict by accident or miscalculation.”
A range of Security Council members, including the United States, France and Britain, condemned Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“By organizing this debate, Russia is trying to portray itself as a defender of the UN Charter and multilateralism. It is not. It is cynical,” said EU ambassador Olof Skoog.
British ambassador Barbara Woodward said the world had seen “what Russia’s idea of multilateralism means to the world” — a war that trampled on the United Nations Charter and brought unimaginable suffering to Ukraine “was also a challenge for Russia.” A total disaster.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, held up a copy of the UN Charter, stressing the importance of defending its values.
“Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, has invaded its neighbor Ukraine and touched the heart of the UN Charter,” Thomas Greenfield said at the meeting.
She said Russia’s actions during the 14-month war showed that the incursion into Ukraine was not an isolated incident.
“It’s not just about Ukraine or Europe. It’s about all of us. Because today it’s Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be another country, another small country invaded by a bigger neighbor.”