Russia in the dock at the United Nations General Assembly



Russia is judged Monday, February 28 at the UN General Assembly during a “emergency extraordinary session” of its 193 members called upon to position themselves in favor of democracy and the sovereignty of Ukraine or the warlike invasion decided by Vladimir Putin.

This meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. in France with speeches by Assembly President Abdulla Shahid and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. A vote on a resolution is expected at the end of the speeches which should continue on Tuesday due to the very large number of speeches in anticipation.

Immediate cessation of fighting demanded

Entitled “Russia’s unprovoked armed aggression against Ukraine”the initial draft of this resolution piloted by the Europeans in coordination with Kyiv, “condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”. Rejected Friday at the Security Council following a veto by Russia, it calls for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and an end to the fighting. Its authors hope to exceed a hundred votes in favor of this text, whereas in the General Assembly there is no right of veto.

→ ANALYSIS. Faced with Russia, France is involved militarily within NATO

At the Security Council, Africa and Latin America joined forces with the United States and Europe to denounce the Russian invasion. In the General Assembly, the usual supporters of Moscow – Syria, Cuba, China, India… – should support its policy or abstain when it comes to voting.

” Self-defense “

Since the start of its invasion, Russia has pleaded ” self-defense “ provided for in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. After deploying tens of thousands of soldiers in Ukraine and its surroundings, equipped with tanks, combat planes and ships, Vladimir Putin on Sunday implicitly evoked the threat of using nuclear weapons to make Ukraine bend. From America to Europe, this declaration provoked an outcry, Washington calling this threat a “completely unacceptable”.

→ EXPLANATION. Russian offensive, the scenario of a lightning war is moving away

The Russian self-defense argument has been categorically rejected by Westerners and the UN alike, who accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the UN Charter. It imposes on its members “to develop peaceful and friendly international relations” with other States and to refrain from any use of force to resolve a crisis.

→ REPORT. Eat, protect yourself, or flee… Kiev at the time of war

Moscow also assured to target only military targets, an assertion rejected by the West and the UN which has counted civilian victims and attacks on civilian infrastructure which may amount to war crimes. Ukraine reported some 200 civilians killed and dozens of military personnel killed in action, but did not release an exact toll on Sunday.

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