Saturday September 23, 2023

Biden urges UN to stop Russia’s ‘naked aggression’ in Ukraine

September 20, 2023

UNITED NATIONS, United States: US President Joe Biden appealed to the United Nations on Tuesday to stop Russia´s “naked aggression” in Ukraine, warning other states would be at risk if the world appeases Moscow.

“We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow,” Biden told the UN General Assembly in New York, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky -- but not Russia´s Vladimir Putin.

He warned that the UN´s “core principles” of peace and national sovereignty were at risk if the world tries to “appease” Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February 2022. “Russia´s price for peace is Ukraine´s capitulation, Ukraine´s territory, and Ukraine´s children. Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence,” Biden said.

“Can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected if you allow Ukraine to be carved up? Is the independence of any nation secure?

“I´d respectfully suggest the answer´s no.” Biden added that the United States and its allies would “continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine” as they tried to expel Russian forces from the country.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a wartime trip to the United Nations on Tuesday urged the world to stand firm against Russia´s “genocide,” as he told skeptical developing nations they had a stake in Kyiv´s victory.

Taking the rostrum of the UN General Assembly in his trademark military fatigues, Zelensky renewed an invitation for world leaders to join a “peace summit” to end the war on Ukraine´s term.

“For the first time in modern history, we have the chance to end the aggression on the terms of the nation which was attacked,” Zelensky said in a speech met with applause led by Western nations but many empty seats.

“This is a real chance for every nation -- to ensure that aggression against your state, if it happens, God forbid, will end not because your land will be divided,” he said, but with sovereignty upheld.

Zelensky lashed out at Russia for what Ukraine says is the deportation of thousands of children. The practice has led the International Criminal Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, which says it is taking war orphans into foster care.

“Those children in Russia are taught to hate Ukraine, and all ties with their families are broken,” Zelensky said, as Russia´s deputy ambassador to the United Nations sat without expression.

“This is clearly a genocide. When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there,” he said. He accused Russia of using both energy and food as a way to pressure the world, after Moscow ended a UN-backed agreement to let ships of grain sail out of Ukraine.

“The aggressor is weaponizing many other things, and those things are used not only against our country but against all of yours as well.”