US President Joe Biden has used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly to respond directly to the threats made by President Putin on Wednesday. “A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought,” he has said. “We are seeing worrying trends, such as Russia’s irresponsible threats to use nuclear weapons.” Biden has also made reference to China’s nuclear buildup “without transparency” and North Korea’s behavior. He has also assured that “the US will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Hours before Biden’s intervention, the Russian president announced a “partial mobilization” of reservists for the war in Ukraine, whose territory he invaded seven months ago and where his troops have recently suffered military setbacks on the battlefield. It has also given its explicit support to the “votes” announced by the pro-Russian leaders of the occupied territories to annex Russia and, with express references to the “various means of destruction” it has, has assured that “it will use all means at its disposal to protect” its territory. “I’m not bluffing,” he added.
“A permanent member of the UN Security Council has invaded his neighbor to erase a sovereign state from the map,” denounced the American leader, who has accused Russia of violating the principles of the United Nations Charter. In the immediate aftermath, Biden has proposed major reform of the UN Security Council to increase accountability. “The permanent members of the UN Security Council should avoid using their veto power except in extraordinary circumstances,” he has pointed out. He has also proposed “increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent members to make the Security Council credible.”
The UN Security Council It is the body in charge of maintaining international peace and the only one with the capacity to impose sanctions and even authorize the use of force. Its decisions are mandatory for the rest of the countries. The council is made up of 15 members, 10 of them elected on a temporary basis and five permanent ones with the power to veto any resolution: the US, France, China, Russia and the UK. The reform proposed by the US would require none of the five permanent members to veto the proposal. Regarding Ukraine, the Security Council has been blocked by the constant veto of the Russian Federation, however, the organ has functioned normally on other issues, reaching a similar number of resolutions as last year.
“Plain and simple, this war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist and the right of Ukrainians to exist as a people,” Biden said. “No matter who you are, where you live, or what you think… this should make your blood run cold. That is why 141 countries have condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine.”
“Russia has called more soldiers to fight and has called fake referendums. Putin says that he had to act because Russia was threatened, but no one threatened Russia and no one, more than Russia, sought conflict”, the US president signed.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, has pointed out that the announcement of the “false referendums”, the partial mobilization of soldiers and “nuclear blackmail” are “a serious escalation” by Putin. “World peace is in danger”, has affirmed.
Biden has also announced $2.9 billion in aid for developing countries to combat food insecurity. “Only Russia can end this food security crisis,” he assured, while criticizing Moscow’s “lies” about the effects of sanctions: “Our sanctions explicitly allow Russia to export food and fertilizers without limits.”
After dedicating a part of his speech to the climate emergency, the US president has denied that he is seeking a Cold War-style conflict with China and has transferred his support to “the brave citizens and women of Iran, who are now demonstrating against the government to secure their basic rights.”