The chief of the United Nations deepened his criticism of Russia on Tuesday over its actions in Ukraine, not solely describing them as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty however disparaging the Kremlin’s descriptions of its troops as peacekeepers. He referred to as the disaster a take a look at of the worldwide group.
The remarks by Secretary General António Guterres, who reduce brief an abroad journey to return to U.N. headquarters in New York as a result of of the Ukraine developments, had been among the many strongest criticisms the Portuguese statesman has made in opposition to a serious member nation since he turned the chief of the group in 2017.
They went past his response on Monday, when Mr. Guterres described Russia’s recognition of two breakaway Russian-backed enclaves and its determination to ship troops into them as inconsistent with the U.N. Charter and a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“Our world is facing the biggest global peace and security crisis in recent years — certainly in my tenure as secretary general,” Mr. Guterres stated. “We face a moment that I sincerely hoped would not come.”
Referring to Russia’s motion, he stated that “such a unilateral measure conflicts directly with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” and what is called the Friendly Nations declaration by the General Assembly, “which the International Court of Justice has repeatedly cited as representing international law.”
Russia’s motion, he stated, additionally represented a “death blow” to the Minsk agreements that had been designed to finish the armed battle between Ukraine and the 2 Russian-backed breakaway areas that has prevailed since 2014.
Mr. Guterres additionally stated he was “concerned about the perversion of the concept of peacekeeping” — a transparent reference to the Kremlin’s portrayal of the troops ordered into the 2 areas. He sought to tell apart them from the U.N. peacekeepers on project in a dozen missions around the globe, invited with the permission of the host nation.
“When troops of one country enter the territory of another country without its consent, they are not impartial peacekeepers,” he informed reporters “They are not peacekeepers at all.”
Answering a number of questions, Mr. Guterres additionally disputed assertions by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that civilians within the two breakaway enclaves had been the victims of “genocide” by Ukrainian forces.
“Genocide is a crime that is clearly defined and whose application must be done in line with international law,” he stated. “I do not think it is the case.”
Mr. Guterres, who has stated greater than as soon as that he believed the Ukraine disaster wouldn’t devolve into battle, gave the impression to be way more frightened about that prospect on Tuesday.
“Any additional Russian military deployments into Ukraine would only further inflame tensions,” he stated. “It is high time to return to the path of dialogue and negotiations. We must rally and meet this challenge together for peace, and to save the people of Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war.”
Mr. Guterres stated that the “United Nations and the entire international system are being tested” and that “we must pass this test.”