Biden accuses Putin before the UN of “irresponsible nuclear threats”

EVladimir Putin is an expert in blowing up the great occasions of the UN, the organization created after the Second World War to, in essence, avoid conflicts. In February, in the middle of a meeting of the Security Council -the UN power body- he announced the invasion of Ukraine, which provoked a bloody war that has lasted ever since, which has weakened energy and food supplies globally. and that it has worsened inflation in many economies.

This week, at the UN’s big annual gathering, General Assembly week, he counter-scheduled Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Tuesday speech with the announcement that he would support ‘express referendums’ in the eastern provinces of Ukraine that are under the control of the Russian Army. And, this morning, a few hours before Joe Biden took the podium, he took a decisive step in escalating the conflict by calling up reservists and threatening the use of powerful Russian nuclear weapons.

Biden, who delayed his speech to the UN by a day due to his attendance at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London, reacted to the Russian president’s change of course with a staunch defense of Ukraine and with warnings of the danger of playing with the nuclear threat .

“This war is about the extinction of Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people,” defended the US president. “Wherever you are, wherever you Alive, this should make your blood run cold. Because if nations seek to materialize their imperial ambitions without consequence, then we put at risk everything that this institution stands for,” he added of the UN.

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“A permanent member of the UN Security Council invaded his neighbor, tried to wipe a sovereign state off the map,” insisted Biden, whose government has been Ukraine’s main supporter in the war, sending more than ten billion dollars in military equipment since last year. “Russia has blatantly violated the core principles of the United Nations Charter.”

“A nuclear war cannot be won”

«Biden was speaking a few hours before it was the turn of the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, who was scheduled to speak today via videoconference. It was an exception to the requirement in the General Assembly that all leaders appear in person, and that the UN members approved by a very large majority – barely half a dozen votes against, including Russia’s – last week. Zelensky, as on so many other occasions, planned to focus his speech on the demand for more aid – both military and humanitarian – and a greater effort by the international community to isolate Russia from Putin.

“We will stand in solidarity against Russian aggression,” Biden said, in an appeal to the international community in this regard, to maintain pressure against Russia. Some 40 countries have committed military aid to the Zelensky government, there are still more that have joined the sanctions to try to contain Putin and the vast majority have condemned the Russian invasion in this very headquarters. But Western leaders, Biden included, fear the exhaustion of the war and its impact on other crises, such as food security or energy access, will undermine international support for kyiv.

The US president did not let Putin’s threats about the possible use of nuclear weapons pass him by. “Once again, today, President Putin has made clear nuclear threats against Europe, showing a clear disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation system,” he criticized. In his opinion, the Russian president’s words represent “irresponsible nuclear threats” that go against the pacts signed by the world’s nuclear powers. Including that “a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought”, which the US, China, France, Russia and the UK agreed to earlier this year.

Shortly after Biden gave his speech Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, who assured that Putin’s words show that he is “desperate”, that he does not know “how to get out of this situation”, that he dismissed Ukraine and that “he will not win the war ».

Putin’s sign of weakness

The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, was also scheduled to speak yesterday. Before her words, and after a meeting with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, she assured that the mobilization decreed by Putin is “a sign of weakness.”

Beyond Ukraine, Biden did not forget the US’s main rival, China, at a time of growing tensions between the two powers, especially after the visit of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to Taiwan. at the beginning of last month. “At a time when we have to manage changes in geopolitical trends -said the president in specific reference to the Asian giant-, the US will behave as a reasonable leader”, she defended. “We are not looking for conflict, we are not looking for a cold war.”

The allusion to China is part of the general line of the international policy of his Administration: contain China and promote democracies in the face of the growing push of authoritarianism. In this sense, Biden remembered Iran, its human rights abuses and the difficulties in reviving the agreement on its nuclear program. “I will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said, implicitly hinting that he will use force if necessary to prevent it.

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