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international confrontation

Western diplomats slam Russia's Sergey Lavrov during UN meeting

Western diplomats on Monday criticized Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a face-to-face session hosted at the United Nations Security Council "for his country's unprovoked assault on Ukraine," CNN reports.  

Lavrov was hosting the meeting, titled "Maintenance of international peace and security," because Russia is currently holding the rotating presidency of the Security Council. "The last time Russia presided over the Security Council was February 2022, when it launched its invasion of Ukraine," CNN writes. 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.N. ambassadors for the United States, United Kingdom, and Switzerland slammed Russia's actions in its ongoing crusade against Ukraine. America's Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Britain's Barbara Woodward, and Switzerland's Pascale Baeriswyl used their speeches to condemn Russia's attack and directly criticize Lavrov. 

"Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded its neighbor, Ukraine, and struck at the heart of the U.N. Charter. This illegal, unprovoked, and unnecessary war runs directly counter to our most shared principles — that a war of aggression and territorial conquest is never, ever acceptable," Thomas-Greenfield said.

In his opening remarks, Lavrov responded to the criticism "by defending his country's military action and accusing the U.S. and its allies of undercutting global diplomacy, the foundation of the United Nations, which was created to prevent a third world war," The Associated Press summarizes. 

He also condemned the "United States and its allies" for "abandoning diplomacy and demanding clarification of relations on the battlefield."

Representatives from about 50 countries spoke, taking care to highlight the rising confrontation among U.N. member nations. The countries stressed "the importance of preserving multilateralism," including by "reforming the Security Council to reflect the 21st century world instead of the post-World War II power structure," AP adds.