BY LAURA KELLY
Wednesday September 28, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 8, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky implored the United
Nations Security Council on Tuesday to completely isolate Russia from the
global peacekeeping body, as the majority of council members condemned Moscow
for land-grabs of Ukrainian territory.
Zelensky addressed the council as Russia carries out
referendums in occupied Ukrainian territory, which the U.S. and U.K. have
warned are a pretext to Moscow annexing the land and escalating its military
offensive in the country.
“No one will be surprised if this room of the U.N. Security
Council will be turned into a zone of violence by representatives of Russia,”
Zelensky said in video remarks delivered to the council.
“There is only one way to stop this all. First, the complete
isolation of Russia in response to everything it does. The state cannot remain
a permanent member to the U.N. Security Council with the right of veto, if such
a state is waging a genocidal policy right now, keeping the world one step away
from a radiation disaster and at the same time keep on threatening with nuclear
strikes. Russia should be excluded from all international organizations.”
Rosemary DiCarlo, the U.N.’s under-secretary-general for
political and peacebuilding affairs, told the Security Council that the
referendum votes being carried out by Russian officials in Ukraine’s territory
“cannot be regarded as legal under international law.”
Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Vasily Nebenzya said the
results from the referenda will be published over the next few days and sought
to portray them as “upholding of all electoral norms.”
“Aware that our former Western partners are not listening to
us or will rather pretend not to listen to us, the Referendum were conducted
exclusively transparently with upholding of all electoral norms, this is an
undisputed fact,” Nebenzya said.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the
U.S. and Albania have authored a resolution to reject Russia’s referendum votes
in Ukraine and is “calling on member states not to recognize any altered status
of Ukraine and obligating Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.”
The U.S. and allies are mobilizing allies to reject Russia’s
attempts at annexing territory in Ukraine, and Kyiv is pushing for supporters
to double down on military assistance to deliver Moscow a decisive battlefield
The Security Council meeting was scheduled in response to
Russia’s referendum efforts and followed a meeting earlier in the week on the
sidelines of the U.N.’s General Assembly, where the U.S. and other partner
countries condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to call up 300,000
Russians to military service in Ukraine.
Putin, in announcing the military call-up, also warned the
West that he was not bluffing in threatening the use of nuclear weapons to
protect Russia and its people.
Zelensky on Tuesday said Putin’s threat “proves that Russia
has no right to possess nuclear weapons as it is unable to guarantee the safety
of the world, even against the threats of using nuclear weapons.”
The U.S. has said it is taking Putin’s threats seriously,
even as officials say they have not seen a change in Russia’s nuclear
But a mysterious gas leak that occurred Tuesday on the Nord
Stream 1 natural gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Europe is raising
concern about how the Kremlin will lash out as it falters in Ukraine.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission,
called the gas leak “sabotage”.
“Paramount to now investigate the incidents, get full
clarity on events and why,” she tweeted. “Any deliberate disruption of active
European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking during a press
conference earlier on Tuesday, said the U.S. had not yet confirmed initial
reports of an attack or sabotage.
“Now, my understanding is the leaks will not have a
significant impact on Europe’s energy resilience, and what’s critical is that
we are working day in, day out both on a short-term basis and a long-term basis
to address energy security for Europe and, for that matter, around the world,”