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Lavrov walks out of UN conference as allies accuse Russia of war in Ukraine

“President Putin cannot get away with it. I will not allow it,” Brinken said at a meeting on Thursday during the UN General Assembly’s high-level week.

The meeting comes amid a week of escalating actions by Moscow that include orders to mobilize hundreds of thousands of troops and a planned “fake referendum” in areas of Russia-occupied Ukraine. .

“President Putin’s choice to add fuel to the fire he started this week as most of the world gathered at the United Nations shows his complete contempt and contempt for the UN Charter, the UN General Assembly and this Council. I have,” said Blinken. .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent from the conference room for all but his own remarks, dismissing widespread international condemnation and again blaming Kyiv for Moscow’s invasion. Some officials suggested that Russia’s top diplomat left the room because he didn’t want to hear the accusations.

A senior US State Department official told reporters on Thursday that “Russia really felt the heat of the world public opinion” at the meeting.

“From[Chinese Foreign Minister]Wang Yi to Tony Brinken, I don’t think anyone in the other side of the Security Council could have given Vladimir Putin or Lavrov a modicum of consolation. They say they have to,” the official said. Said.

Officials said Lavrov “didn’t show up until two minutes before his speech. He had one of his minions listen to how much they were listening. Within a minute and a half I knew what you knew.

They said a senior Russian official, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, and his team, who sat in the room for most of the meeting, were “almost faced in stone.”

But “[Lavrov]filed the lawsuit again in 2014, calling Ukrainians Nazis, doing classic Putin mirror images, and blaming the rest of the world for everything Russia itself is doing.” When we started, there were faces of disbelief all over the table, including atrocities and human rights violations, so it was just ‘Through the Looking Glass’,” they said.

Brinken and others, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, underscored the atrocities uncovered in Ukraine, the global impact of the war on food security and more, and called on Russia to stop threatening nuclear weapons. .

A top U.S. diplomat said that President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use “all available weapon systems” against Russia was “a threat to Russia’s intention to annex most of Ukraine in the next few days.” Given the intent, it’s all the more menacing.”

“Once that is done, Putin will claim that Ukraine’s efforts to liberate the country constitute an attack on so-called Russian territory,” Brinken explained. It is from a country that signed here in January, along with other permanent members of the Security Council, a statement affirming that “nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought”. ‘Yet another example of how Russia breaks the promises it has made in front of this institution, and yet another reason why no one should take Russia’s word for it today.’

“All members of the Security Council should send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must be stopped immediately,” he said.

Brinken said Russia’s efforts to annex more Ukrainian territory would be the next step after referendums convened this week by the leaders of the so-called Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhia and Kherson. U.S. officials say it has. Dangerous escalation and denial of diplomacy.”

“This is all the more worrying when combined with the filtering operations that Russian forces have been conducting throughout Ukraine under their control,” Brinken said. “This is a diabolical strategy to violently uproot hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, bussing Russians in their place, calling for votes and manipulating the results to achieve a near-full admission to the Russian Federation. Let’s support it unanimously. It’s out of the Crimean strategy.”

He again called for accountability for crimes discovered in previously Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine such as Bucha, Irpin and Izm, where mass graves were discovered and survivors detailed acts of torture. .

“These are not rogue actions. There is a clear pattern across the territory controlled by Russian forces,” said Brinken. “This is one of the many reasons why we support various national and international efforts to collect and investigate the growing evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.”

Blinken reiterated that the United States will continue to support Ukraine and urged other countries to do the same.

“President Putin is making his choice. Now it is up to our country to decide. Tell Putin to stop the terror he started. “Tell him to stop putting his own interests above those of the world, including. Tell him to stop demeaning this Council and all that it stands for,” said Blinken.

“One man chose this war, and one man can end it,” he said. “When Russia stops fighting, the war ends. When Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Jenny Hansler contributed to this report.

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