Russian envoy claims West is determined to destroy Russia

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Every week earlier than the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin’s U.N. ambassador claimed that the West is pushed by its dedication to destroy Russia and declared: “We had no alternative apart from to defend our nation — defend it from you, to defend our id and our future.”

Western ambassadors shot again, accusing Russia of utilizing a Safety Council assembly it known as on classes discovered from the failure to resolve the battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists that started in 2014 to justify what France’s U.N. Ambassador Nicolas De Riviere known as “the unjustifiable” – Russia’s invasion of its smaller neighbor on Feb. 24, 2022.

Friday’s assembly within the council — the one worldwide venue the place Russia often faces Ukraine and its Western supporters — put a highlight on the deep chasm between the combatants because the battle strikes into its second yr for ever and ever, tens of 1000’s of casualties on each side, and new army offensives anticipated.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Western nations together with France and Germany of “holding again” on implementing the Minsk agreements brokered by the 2 international locations to finish the battle between Ukraine and the separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk within the nation’s principally Russian-speaking industrial east that flared in April 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“You knew very nicely that the Minsk course of for you is only a smoke display, in order to rearm the Kyiv regime and to organize it for struggle in opposition to Russia within the identify of your geopolitical curiosity,” Nebenzia stated.

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U.S. deputy ambassador Richard Mills accused Russia of failing to implement “a single dedication it made” within the Minsk agreements whereas the opposite signatories — France, Germany, Ukraine and the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe — “sought to implement them in good religion.”

France’s De Riviere stated his nation and Germany have labored “tirelessly” since 2015 to advertise dialogue between events. “The difficulties encountered in implementing these agreements can by no means function justification or mitigating circumstances for Russia’s alternative to finish the dialogue with violence,” he burdened.

De Riviere recalled that precisely a yr in the past, on Feb. 17, 2022, Russia’s Deputy Overseas Minister Sergey Vershinin reaffirmed to the council that the Minsk agreements had been “the one worldwide authorized foundation” to resolve the battle in Ukraine, and that rumors of Russian army intervention had been unfounded and stemmed from Western paranoia. 4 days later, Russia acknowledged the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, and on Feb. 24 it invaded Ukraine.

“The one and solely lesson to be discovered right here is that Russia, by attacking Ukraine, has chosen alone, to place an finish to dialogue and negotiation,” De Riviere stated. “It took the choice alone to shatter the Minsk agreements, whose major goal, allow us to keep in mind, was the reintegration of some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk beneath full Ukrainian sovereignty, in change for broad decentralization.”

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward additionally cited Vershinin’s assertion to the council that allegations of a Russian assault had been baseless per week earlier than President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, and stated the UK had discovered some classes.

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“Russia lied once we warned of its intention to assault Ukraine,” she stated. “Russia was planning for struggle whereas we known as for diplomacy and de-escalation, and Russia continues to decide on loss of life and destruction whereas the world requires a simply peace.”

Russia’s Nebenzia blamed “a legal coverage by the Ukrainian management which was goaded by the collective West” for refusing to implement the Minsk agreements.

After a yr of struggle, he informed Western members of the Safety Council, “Clearly, we won’t be able to dwell sooner or later the best way we did previously.”

Nebenzia accused the West of “deep Russophobia,” and a “dedication to destroy my nation, utilizing others if potential.” And he claimed it’s not “in constructing a European and Euro-Atlantic safety system along with Russia” as a result of “for you such a system can solely be aimed in opposition to Russia.”

“Now we have no belief left in you and we aren’t ready of believing any guarantees you make — not as regards a non-expansion of NATO within the east, or your need to not intrude in our inner affairs, or your dedication to dwell in peace,” Nebenzia stated.

“You might have proven that it’s unimaginable to barter with you,” he stated. “You’ve proven how treacherous you’re by creating on our borders a neo-Nazi, neo-nationalist beehive after which stirring it up.”

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Russia of violating the Minsk agreements, citing for example the Minsk memorandum of Sept. 19, 2014 ordering all army, militias and mercenaries to go away Ukraine that was by no means applied.

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“The reality is that Putin has proved as soon as and for all to be unimaginable to barter with,” he stated. “Russia’s constant undermining and closing killing of the Minsk agreements make that crystal clear.”

Ukraine urges “wholesome forces in Russia, if there are any, to return to their senses and drive Putin to implement the calls for of the U.N. Normal Meeting to instantly stop the usage of drive and to withdraw Russian army forces from Ukraine,” Kyslytsya stated. “The dictator ought to hand over and recede into the previous.”