Zelensky watches Biden tell UN that if Ukraine is ‘carved up’ by Russia then no nation is safe: Urges world leaders to stand up to Putin’s ‘naked aggression’ and vows to keep giving funds to Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky watched President Joe Biden warn that no nation is safe if Ukraine is ‘carved up’ by Russia.
Biden was addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with both Zelensky – dressed in his traditional military fatigues – and Russian Amb. Vaisily Nebenzya in the audience.
The U.S. president hammered Russia’s ‘naked agression’ and vowed to keep funding Kyiv as he again called the present moment ‘an inflection point in world history.’
Biden noted that ‘for a second year in a row, this gathering dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflict is darkened by the shadow of war.’
The president called it ‘an illegal war of conquest’ and one that was ‘brought without provocation’ by Russia into Ukraine.
President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday morning in New York City. In his speech, he went after Russia’s ‘illegal war of conquest’ in Ukraine and recommitted the U.S. to the cause of assisting Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky watched as President Joe Biden told the United Nations General Assembly that no nation is safe if the world allowed for Ukraine to be ‘carved up’ by Russia
Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vaisily Nebenzya was captured looking at his phone as President Joe Biden addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday and slammed Russia over the invasion of Ukraine
‘Like every nation in the world, the United States wants this war to end,’ he said. ‘No nation wants this war to end more than Ukraine. And we strongly support Ukraine and its efforts to bring about a diplomatic resolution that delivers just and lasting peace.’
But he added: ‘Russia alone, Russia alone bears responsibility for this war.
‘Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately. And it’s Russia alone that stands in the way of peace because the Russians’ price for peace is Ukraine’s capitulation, Ukraine’s territory and Ukraine’s children,’ Biden said.
‘Russia believes that the world will grow weary and will allow it to brutalize Ukraine without conseqence,’ the president added.
Biden then laid out what he thought would be the cost of that weariness.
‘But I ask you this, if we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?’ he asked.
‘If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?’ the president mused.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky applauds as President Joe Biden blasts Russia for the war in Ukraine during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday
President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday in New York
‘I respectfully suggest the answer is no,’ Biden said. ‘We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.’
He didn’t call out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name.
‘That’s why the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom,’ Biden said.
He received applause from the audience for this pronouncement.
However the pool reporter in the room also observed UNGA attendees on their phones checking Instagram and Google maps during the president’s address.
Nebenzya was also spotted on his phone during Biden’s speech.
Biden called sovereignty and territorial integrity a ‘fixed foundation of this noble body.’
‘And universal human rights, its north star.’
He touched on that concept thoughout that speech, including by advocating for LGBTQ people globally.
‘These rights are part of our shared humanity … when they are absent anywhere, their loss is felt everywhere,’ he said.
The president also reiterated that the U.S. didn’t want conflict with China.
‘When it comes to China I want to be clear and consistent, we seek to responsibly manage competition between our countries, so it does not tip into conflict,’ Biden said. ‘I’ve said we are for derisking not decoupling with China.’
Biden also pledged to keep foreign aid coming, despite some segments of the Republican Party wanting it on the chopping block.
‘And as we work together to recover from global shocks, the United States will also continue to be the largest single community, country donor of humanitarian assistance at this moment of unparalleled need in the world,’ the president said.
Biden started his address by speaking about his trip to Vietnam last week – a taste of what post-war relations could look like if Russia withdrew from Ukraine.
‘Nothing about that journey was inevitable,’ Biden said. ‘For decades, it would have been unthinkable for an American president to stand in Hanoi, alongside a Vietnamese leader, and announce a mutual commitment to the highest level of countries’ partnership.’
‘But it’s a powerful reminder that our history need not dictate our future,’ the president said. ‘With the concerted leadership, careful effort, adversaries can become partners, overwhelming challenges can be resolved and deep wounds can heal.’