The United Nations leader on Tuesday sharply criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine, not only describing it as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty but also disparaging the Kremlin’s descriptions of the military. Theirs are peacekeepers. He called the crisis a test of the global organization.
The comment by Secretary-General António Guterres, who cut short a trip abroad to return to UN headquarters in New York because of developments in Ukraine, was one of the strongest criticisms that a Portuguese politician has made. out for a major member state since he became the organization’s leader in 2017.
They went beyond his react on Monday, when Mr. Guterres described Russia’s recognition of two Russian-backed breakaway regions and their decision to send troops into them as inconsistent with the UN Charter and a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“Our world is facing the biggest global peace and security crisis in recent years – certainly during my tenure as secretary general,” Mr. Guterres said. “We face a moment that I really hope will not come.”
Referring to Russia’s actions, he said that “such a unilateral measure is in direct conflict with the principles”. of the Charter of the United Nations “and what the General Assembly calls the declaration of friendly States,” which the International Court of Justice has repeatedly cited as representing international law. ”
Russia’s actions also represent a “death blow” to the Minsk agreements designed to end the armed conflict between Ukraine and two Russian-backed breakaway regions, he said. .
Mr. Guterres also said he was “concerned about the distortion of the peacekeeping concept” – a clear reference to the Kremlin’s description of troops being deployed to the two Koreas. He sought to distinguish them from the United Nations peacekeeping force assigned to dozens of missions around the world, invited with the permission of the host country.
“When one country’s troops enter another country’s territory without that country’s consent, they are not impartial peacekeepers,” he told reporters. are not peacekeepers at all.”
Answering some questions, Mr. Guterres also countered affirmation of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that civilians in two breakaway regions were victims of the “genocide regime” of Ukrainian forces.
“Genocide is a well-defined crime and its application must be made in accordance with international law,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the case.”
Mr. Guterres, who has said more than once that he believes the Ukraine crisis will not turn into war, seemed much more worried about that prospect on Tuesday.
“Any additional Russian military deployment to Ukraine will only increase tensions,” he said. “It is time to return to the path of dialogue and negotiation. We must rally and meet this challenge together for peace, and save the people of Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war. “
Mr. Guterres said that “the United Nations and the entire international system are being tested” and “we have to pass this test.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/world/europe/un-russia-antonio-guterres.html UN leader criticizes Russia more deeply over Ukraine crisis