Biden denounces Putin for “brutal, unnecessary war” and urges nations to stand firm in support of Ukraine

US President Joe Biden told the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia’s war in Ukraine “shamelessly violated the fundamental principles of the international organization” as he called on nations around the world to steadfastly support the Ukrainian resistance.

Mr Biden strongly condemned the seven-month invasion of Russia, saying reports of Russian abuse of civilians and its efforts to wipe out Ukraine and its culture “should make your blood run cold”. He referred to President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Wednesday that he had ordered a partial mobilization of reservists, a deeply unpopular move that sparked protests in Russia.

And Mr Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed a “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mr Biden said.

He also slammed Russia for calling “sham referendums” this week in areas it has violently seized in Ukraine.

“A permanent member of the UN Security Council has invaded its neighbor in an attempt to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” he told his UN audience.

Mr. Biden’s speech was part of an effort to maintain Russia’s isolation on the global stage as the cost of war rises, energy concerns loom this winter and Congress is likely to become more skeptical about military defense spending.

The President called on all nations, whether democracies or autocracies, to speak out against Russia’s “brutal, unnecessary war” and to step up Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself.

“We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period,” Biden said.

He also highlighted the consequences of the invasion for the world’s food supply and pledged US$2.9 billion (€2.94 billion) in global food security assistance to address shortages caused by war and the effects of climate change. He commended UN-brokered efforts to create a corridor for exports of Ukrainian grain by sea and called for the accord to continue despite the ongoing conflict.

Mr. Biden met with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his time at the UN General Assembly and held his first meeting with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, where they discussed Russia’s war, energy security and China. Later in the day he met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

He should also urge nations to meet a $18 billion goal to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and reaffirm the US $6 billion commitment to that goal.

But the centerpiece of the President’s visit to the United Nations this year has been his full-bodied criticism of Russia as its war nears the seven-month mark. One of Russia’s deputy ambassadors to the UN, Gennady Kuzmin, sat in the Russian seat during Mr Biden’s speech.

The speech came as Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to hold Kremlin-backed referendums on incorporation into Russia – and Moscow is losing ground in the invasion.

The White House said global food security funding includes $2 billion in direct humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development. The rest of the money goes to global development projects designed to increase the efficiency and resilience of the global food supply.

“This new $2.9 billion announcement will save lives through emergency response and invest in mid- to long-term food security assistance to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis,” the White House said.

Mr. Biden faced no shortage of difficult issues as leaders gathered this year.

In addition to the Russian war in Ukraine, fears are growing in Europe that a recession could be imminent. The government’s concerns are growing as time is running out to revive the Iran nuclear deal and over China’s saber-rattling on Taiwan.

His Wednesday address follows the recapture of large areas near Kharkiv by Ukrainian forces.

But even as Ukrainian forces have notched up victories on the battlefield, much of Europe is feeling a painful blow from the economic sanctions imposed on Russia. A sharp drop in Russian oil and gas consumption has led to a sharp rise in energy prices, skyrocketing inflation and a growing risk of Europe slipping into recession.

Mr Biden’s visit to the United Nations also comes as his administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran appear to have stalled.

The deal brokered by the Obama administration — and scrapped by Donald Trump in 2018 — brought billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for Iran’s agreement to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to full international inspections.

“While the United States prepares for a mutual return to the joint comprehensive plan of action, the United States is clear: if Iran honors its commitments, we will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” Biden said.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said government officials would consult with other signatories to the 2015 accord on the sidelines of this week’s meetings.

China’s President Xi Jinping opted not to attend this year’s UN assembly, but his government said Monday that Mr Biden’s statement that American forces would defend the self-governing island was a violation of US obligations. Biden denounces Putin for “brutal, unnecessary war” and urges nations to stand firm in support of Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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