By Enyichukwu Enemanna
US President Joe Biden has taken a swipe at Russia over its ongoing war in Ukraine which he says is in violation of the UN’s 1945 general charter, signed after World War II.
Biden who spoke on Wednesday at the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York blamed Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin squarely for events when he said it was “a war chosen by one man.”
“No-one threatened Russia, and no-one other than Russia sought conflict,” said President Biden.
“Now we see attacks on schools, railway stations, schools, hospitals… and Ukrainian centres of culture,” he said, noting evidence of war crimes committed by Russia.
Biden said that the war was about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state and as a people “plain and simple.”
“If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences we put at risk everything this institution stands for.”
Russia is one of five permanent members of the Security Council, capable of vetoing any security resolution, and President Biden said he wanted to expand the number of permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council, to include representatives from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The address comes as Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to hold Kremlin-backed referendums on annexation this week.
Putin has also announced a partial mobilisation to call up 300,000 reservists, accusing the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin last week that now is not the time for war, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has also expressed questions and concerns about the situation.
Biden’s speech also echoed his previous address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, and highlighted issues around food security and hunger, the climate crisis, nuclear non-proliferation and human rights abuses – in particular in China.