Russia has been left out among world leaders gathered at the United Nations

WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies got another chance to cast Vladimir Putin as an isolated pariah on the world stage as world leaders gather in New York this week, even as the United Nations has failed to stop or even contain Russia’s war in Ukraine. .
The big question is whether the condemnation counts and whether some nations, who do not want to choose sides, will turn words into action.
In speech after speech, the leaders before the General Assembly condemned the Russian invasion of their neighbor. They also sought to reinvigorate efforts to combat the global food crisis caused by the war, including the U.S. announcement of an additional $2.9 billion in food aid. United Nations Security Council On Thursday, they were scheduled to meet in a meeting on Ukraine, where Russia’s actions were definitely condemned, despite the veto it has to prevent real action.
“This war is the erasure of Ukraine’s right as a country, plain and simple,” President Joe Biden said in a speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday. “If countries can pursue their imperial ambitions with impunity, then we’re putting everything this institution stands for—everything—at risk.”
While the response from Biden and other Western leaders was not surprising, even some leaders previously wary of taking sides were a little more blunt in calling out Putin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to position himself as a mediator, but also used an interview with PBS NewsHour to make the call Putin to return the occupied territory to Ukraine.
“The land that was invaded will be returned to Ukraine,” Erdogan said. Nevertheless, the Turkish leader refrained from directly accusing Putin, but insisted on a negotiated solution.
The war in Ukraine has not only dominated the official speeches that have characterized this busy week of global diplomacy. Conflict also shapes many of the two-way conversations between executives in conference rooms and frames hushed conversations in the corridors of the city’s crowded luxury hotels.
So far, however, Putin has seemed undaunted by all the criticism.
As he has often done in the past, President Putin skipped the General Assembly, sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his place, and appeared to calm any calls for peace as the war accelerated. In the full swing of diplomatic events, he announced the partial mobilization of up to 300,000 more troops and announced his intention to hold referendums and annex the territory his troops still occupy.
“The UN was created to help prevent such situations, but as long as Russia has veto power in the Security Council and can wage aggressive wars, the UN cannot fulfill that purpose,” John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine, said in an interview with Bloomberg. Television’s “The Balance of Power with David Westin.”
There may be more to come, from countries that have more influence over Putin. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has criticized him, albeit mildly, in recent weeks, although the Indian leader has not been involved in US-led efforts to impose sanctions on Russia over the war.
Modi will not attend an event in New York this week, but his foreign minister may apply pressure on India in a Sept. 25 speech.
At the same time, there was plenty of evidence that despite all the condemnation from the West, other countries still wanted to do business with Russia. Lavrov was full of meetings – though his staff wouldn’t say with whom.
Senegal’s Macky Sall called for a “negotiated solution” to the crisis and urged leaders not to divide less powerful countries along ideological lines.
“Africa has suffered enough under the burden of history,” he said. “It doesn’t want to be the site of a new Cold War.”
While some countries in Southeast Asia and Africa have been reluctant to join sanctions against Moscow, the global food crisis, which has been dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s war, has also been in the spotlight this week.
“Zambia joins other governments in expressing particular concern about the ongoing war in Ukraine,” President Hakainde Hichilema said at the United Nations lectern Wednesday afternoon. “We also take this opportunity to highlight the far-reaching negative consequences of this war, particularly on food prices around the world.”
“A few months of war can erase decades of progress,” he said.
Since Russia has veto power as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN must rely on such examples of unity.
“We have to face the fact that the credibility of the United Nations is at stake because of the aggression of Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, against Ukraine,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday on a speakerphone, criticizing the “dysfunctionality.” Members of the Security Council – where it is not a permanent member – and noting Tokyo’s long-standing desire to restructure the United Nations. “The UN does not exist only for the benefit of the great powers. The United Nations exists for the entire international community.”
The most impassioned cri de coeur about Putin’s incursion came from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who sought to draw attention to deep divisions in his speech to open a week of meetings and speeches.
“We cannot continue like this,” Guterres said. “We have a responsibility to act. And yet we are stuck in colossal global dysfunction.”