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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was criticized by the US and its allies for having left the United Nations Security Council meeting immediately as he finished his speech in which he accused Ukrainian forces of making "illegal" attacks on the "peaceful citizens of Donbas."
A US official came down heavily on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for only being at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine for a short time and skipping the Russian criticism from Western diplomats, CNN reported.
Blinken criticized Russia for its war in Ukraine on Thursday and noted that countries including those maintaining "close ties" with Moscow have publicly condemned the conflict.
While Blinken was speaking, Lavrov skipped the session. Looking at such a scene, a US official criticised Lavrov and said, "Lavrov apparently couldn't bear to hear the clear and repeated messages of condemnation of Russia's war against Ukraine. He walked into the chamber just before his speaking slot and left shortly after."
The official said it was a sign of Russian weakness and a testament to the fact that Russians recognize that they are being isolated on the world stage.
It is pertinent to mention that the Russian Foreign Minister walked into the UN Security Council meeting at approximately 11:30 am ET and took his seat at the table, nearly 1.5 hours late.
The council was discussing the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine.
Earlier, at UNSC, Lavrov called Ukraine a "totalitarian Nazi-like state", alleged that country's armed forces are using civilians as human shields.
He also accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the "Kyiv regime" of "racist" and "anti-Russian" motivated aggression.
"Ukraine has become a totalitarian Nazi-like state where the norms of humanitarian law are trampled on. There is no surprise that their armed forces in the national battalions are using peaceful civilians as human shields: Russian FM Sergey Lavrov at UNSC on Ukraine," Lavrov said in the UNSC briefing on Ukraine.
This comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy demanded punishment for Russia for the war in Ukraine, which has left thousands of people killed, displaced millions and reduced towns to rubble.
In a pre-recorded speech at UN General Assembly that focussed on war, Zelenskyy said, "A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people."
"Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory," Zelenskyy added.
"Punishment for the murders of thousands of people. Punishment for tortures and humiliations of women and men," he added.
Zelensky called for Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, to lose its veto power.
"So long as the aggressor is party to decision making in the international organization you must be insulated from them, at least until aggression stops."
The Ukrainian leader also called for the creation of a special tribunal to punish Russia. "This will become a signal to all would-be aggressors, that they must value peace or be brought to responsibility by the world."
Zelenskyy's address to world leaders came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered partial military mobilization in Moscow. Russia plans to conscript around 300,000 troops in an apparent escalation of its Ukraine invasion that began in February this year.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Fri, September 23 2022. 07:43 IST