UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Every week earlier than the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin’s U.N. ambassador claimed that the West is pushed by its willpower to destroy Russia and declared: “We had no alternative apart from to defend our nation — defend it from you, to defend our identification and our future.”
Western ambassadors shot again, accusing Russia of utilizing a Safety Council assembly it referred to as on classes realized from the failure to resolve the battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists that started in 2014 to justify what France’s U.N. Ambassador Nicolas De Riviere referred to as “the unjustifiable” – Russia’s invasion of its smaller neighbor on Feb. 24, 2022.
Friday’s assembly within the council — the one worldwide venue the place Russia usually faces Ukraine and its Western supporters — put a highlight on the deep chasm between the fighters because the battle strikes into its second 12 months without end, tens of 1000’s of casualties on each side, and new army offensives anticipated.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Western nations together with France and Germany of “holding again” on implementing the Minsk agreements brokered by the 2 international locations to finish the battle between Ukraine and the separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk within the nation’s largely Russian-speaking industrial east that flared in April 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
“You knew very properly that the Minsk course of for you is only a smoke display, in order to rearm the Kyiv regime and to arrange it for conflict in opposition to Russia within the title of your geopolitical curiosity,” Nebenzia mentioned.
U.S. deputy ambassador Richard Mills accused Russia of failing to implement “a single dedication it made” within the Minsk agreements whereas the opposite signatories — France, Germany, Ukraine and the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe — “sought to implement them in good religion.”
France’s De Riviere mentioned his nation and Germany have labored “tirelessly” since 2015 to advertise dialogue between events. “The difficulties encountered in implementing these agreements can by no means function justification or mitigating circumstances for Russia’s alternative to finish the dialogue with violence,” he harassed.
De Riviere recalled that precisely a 12 months in the past, on Feb. 17, 2022, Russia’s Deputy International Minister Sergey Vershinin reaffirmed to the council that the Minsk agreements had been “the one worldwide authorized foundation” to resolve the battle in Ukraine, and that rumors of Russian army intervention had been unfounded and stemmed from Western paranoia. 4 days later, Russia acknowledged the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, and on Feb. 24 it invaded Ukraine.
“The one and solely lesson to be realized right here is that Russia, by attacking Ukraine, has chosen alone, to place an finish to dialogue and negotiation,” De Riviere mentioned. “It took the choice alone to shatter the Minsk agreements, whose predominant goal, allow us to bear in mind, was the reintegration of some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk beneath full Ukrainian sovereignty, in alternate for broad decentralization.”
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward additionally cited Vershinin’s assertion to the council that allegations of a Russian assault had been baseless every week earlier than President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, and mentioned the UK had realized some classes.
“Russia lied after we warned of its intention to assault Ukraine,” she mentioned. “Russia was planning for conflict whereas we referred to as for diplomacy and de-escalation, and Russia continues to decide on loss of life and destruction whereas the world requires a simply peace.”
Russia’s Nebenzia blamed “a prison coverage by the Ukrainian management which was goaded by the collective West” for refusing to implement the Minsk agreements.
After a 12 months of conflict, he instructed Western members of the Safety Council, “Clearly, we will be unable to reside sooner or later the best way we did prior to now.”
Nebenzia accused the West of “deep Russophobia,” and a “willpower to destroy my nation, utilizing others if potential.” And he claimed it’s not “in constructing a European and Euro-Atlantic safety system along with Russia” as a result of “for you such a system can solely be aimed in opposition to Russia.”
“We now have no belief left in you and we aren’t ready of believing any guarantees you make — not as regards a non-expansion of NATO within the east, or your want to not intrude in our inner affairs, or your willpower to reside in peace,” Nebenzia mentioned.
“You’ve proven that it’s not possible to barter with you,” he mentioned. “You’ve proven how treacherous you’re by creating on our borders a neo-Nazi, neo-nationalist beehive after which stirring it up.”
Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Russia of violating the Minsk agreements, citing for example the Minsk memorandum of Sept. 19, 2014 ordering all army, militias and mercenaries to go away Ukraine that was by no means carried out.
“The reality is that Putin has proved as soon as and for all to be not possible to barter with,” he mentioned. “Russia’s constant undermining and closing killing of the Minsk agreements make that crystal clear.”
Ukraine urges “wholesome forces in Russia, if there are any, to return to their senses and power Putin to implement the calls for of the U.N. Normal Meeting to instantly stop the usage of power and to withdraw Russian army forces from Ukraine,” Kyslytsya mentioned. “The dictator ought to surrender and recede into the previous.”