On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov drew sharp criticism from other United Nations ambassadors in New York before addressing the head of the UN Security Council (as in 2021, pictured). File Photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License photo
April 24 (UPI) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov drew sharp criticism from fellow United Nations ambassadors in New York on Monday before his speech as interim head of the U.N. Security Council.
“Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, attacked its neighbor, Ukraine, and struck at the heart of the UN Charter,” said US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. said during the address body Monday.
“This illegal, unprovoked and unnecessary war is in direct conflict with our shared principles – that war of aggression and territorial conquest are never acceptable,” she said.
The Swiss and British ambassadors also criticized Lavrov over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, is causing immense suffering and devastation to the country and its people and is adding to the global economic dislocation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Lavrov said during the meeting, which was convened.
Lavrov flew in from Moscow to chair the meeting, which was aimed at stressing the importance of defending the UN Charter.
Elizabeth Whelan, sister of former US Marine Paul Whelan, attended Monday’s meeting.
Paul Whelan was imprisoned in Russia for more than four years. The US State Department declared him “unlawfully detained”.
Elizabeth Whelan did not speak to reporters on Monday. She publicly advocated for her brother’s release.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden said securing Whelan’s freedom was a top priority.
Russia took over the leadership position at the UN Security Council meeting on April 1. Ukrainian officials called the move a “bad joke.”
Positions rotate alphabetically through councilors each month. Russia is one of the five permanent members of the council, along with the United States, China, France and Great Britain.
Russia last chaired the Council in February 2022, when it was ready to invade Ukraine.