“We cannot — we will not — let President Putin get away with it,” Blinken said in remarks at the UN General Assembly’s high-level week on Thursday.
The meeting was part of a week of actions by Moscow, including ordering the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of troops and planned “fake referendums” in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
“President Putin’s choice this week, as most of the world gathers at the United Nations, to add fuel to the fire that has been lit shows his utter contempt and disdain for the UN Charter, the UN General Assembly and this Council,” Blinken said. .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was absent from the chamber except for his remarks, in which he dismissed widespread international condemnation and again blamed Moscow’s invasion on Kiev.
Blinken and others, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, highlighted the atrocities exposed in Ukraine, the war’s global impact on things like food security, and called on Russia to stop its nuclear saber rattling.
According to the top US diplomat, Vladimir Putin’s threat to use “all available weapon systems” for Russia “makes Russia’s intention to annex large parts of Ukraine in the coming days all the more threatening.”
“When this is over, we can expect that President Putin will declare any Ukrainian effort to liberate this land as an attack on so-called Russian territory,” Blinken explained. “This, in January of this year, in this place, from a country that joined the other permanent members of the Security Council, by signing a statement affirming, and I quote, ‘a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought’. ‘ Russia’s position before this organization Another example of breaking commitments, and another reason why nobody should keep their word to Russia today.”
“Every member of the council should send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must stop immediately,” he said.
Blinken said Russia’s efforts to annex more Ukrainian territory — which U.S. officials say is the next expected step after referendums called this week by leaders of the Russian-backed so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — are another escalation. a dangerous and rejection of diplomacy.’
“It’s even more worrying with the ongoing infiltration operations across parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces,” Blinken said. “It’s a diabolical strategy: violently uproot hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians; bus in Russians to replace them; call for votes; and manipulate the results to show near-unanimity in favor of joining the Russian Federation. Take Crimea out of the book.”
He has once again called for responsibility for the crimes found in places like Bucha, Irpin, Izyum in Russian-occupied Ukraine, where mass graves have been found and survivors have recounted acts of torture.
“These are not the actions of rogue units; they fit into a clear pattern in territory controlled by Russian forces,” Blinken said. “This is one of the many reasons we support the many national and international efforts to gather and analyze the growing evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.”
Blinken reiterated that the United States will continue to support Ukraine and called on others to do the same.
“President Putin is making his choice. Now it’s up to all of our countries to make ours. Tell President Putin to stop the panic he’s started. Tell him to put his interests above the interests of the rest of the world, including his. People. Tell him to stop condemning this City Council and everything.” , said Blinken.
“One man chose this war. And one man can end it,” he said. “If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”