Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday attended a U.N. Security Council meeting in person for the first time since Russia invaded in February 2022. Following are notable quotes from the meeting:
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY:
“Unfortunately, this seat in the Security Council, which Russia occupies illegally, through backstage manipulations following the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been taken by liars whose job is to whitewash the aggression and the genocide being carried on by Russia.
“Therefore, the U.N. General Assembly should be given a real power to overcome the veto. This will be the first necessary step. It is impossible to stop the war because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor.”
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN:
“It’s hard to imagine a country demonstrating more contempt for the United Nations and all that it stands for – this from a country with a permanent seat on this council.
“President Putin is betting that if he keeps doubling down on the violence, that if he’s willing to inflict enough suffering on enough people, the world will cave on its principles and Ukraine will stop defending itself.
“But Ukrainians are not giving up for they’ve seen what life would look like if they submit to Russian control.”
RUSSIA’S FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV:
“Today, the West turns selectively to norms and principles (on) a case-by-case basis exclusively based on their parochial geopolitical needs. This has resulted in a shaking of global stability as well as the exacerbation and the fomenting of new hotbeds of tension, (and) risks of global conflict.”
CHINA’S VICE FOREIGN MINISTER MA ZHAOXU:
“The Ukraine crisis has dealt a heavy blow to world economic recovery and global development and severely affected the world food, energy and financial security. Developing countries are the first to bear the blunt brunt.
“Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction and protect the security and the smooth operation of global production and supply chains.”
ECUADOREAN PRESIDENT GUILLERMO LASSO:
“When this organization was built, we the peoples of the United Nations determined to preserve and spare future generations from the scourge of war.
“How can we uphold the principles and purposes of the UN Charter for effective multilateralism and at the same time invade a neighboring country or not condemn that invasion?”
GHANA’S PRESIDENT NANA AKUFO-ADDO:
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is plainly wrong.
“The war is having an increasingly devastating toll on the people in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.
“The only pathway for a comprehensive peace … is one that must be just and based on the charter of the United Nations, and international law.”
SWISS PRESIDENT ALAIN BERSET:
“With Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the (U.N.) Charter has been violated on a massive scale. Yet Russia … has been denying its responsibility. Its responsibility for the thousands of dead and wounded in Ukraine. Its responsibility for the millions of displaced persons. And finally its responsibility for all those plunged into deep insecurity wherever they are in the world, including incidentally in Russia.”
JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER FUMIO KISHIDA:
“We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a clear violation of international law including the U.N. Charter. The aggression must be stopped immediately and the troops must be withdrawn, right now, and unconditionally.
“The occupation and militarization of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant pose a threat to world peace and stability. Russia’s nuclear threats, let alone its use of nuclear weapons, are unacceptable.”