A view of the United Nations Security Council session held at Russia's request on April 24, 2023, at UN headquarters in New York. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Russia’s Lavrov lambastes West, says world is at critical juncture

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (c) speaks, as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (l) listens, at a UN Security Council session held at Russia's request on April 24, 2023, at UN headquarters in New York. EFE/Justin Lane

United Nations, Apr 24 (EFE).- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday lambasted the West in the United Nations Security Council and accused the United States and its allies of having brought the world to an extremely dangerous juncture.

New York (United States), 24/04/2023.- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, following a United Nations Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 24 April 2023. EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

“The United Nations-centered system is enduring a profound crisis,” Lavrov said, adding that “the future of the world order is being decided today.”

“As was the case during the Cold War,” the world has arrived at a dangerous threshold, said Lavrov, going on to accuse Western nations of “destroying the benefits of globalization” with “economic aggression” and seeking to impose their policies on the rest of the world by force.

“Nobody gave permission to the Western minority to speak in the name of all of humanity,” said Russia’s top diplomat, who is presiding on Monday at a special session of the Security Council called by Moscow and devoted to discussing multilateralism.

In his 20-minute speech before the Council, Lavrov reiterated the Kremlin’s regular messages about the situation in Ukraine but above all he sought to denounce what Moscow sees as – or claims are – attempts by the West to control the world and halt the “establishment of new centers of independent development.”

In that regard, he accused the US and other countries of destroying the international architecture created after World War II – with the UN as the centerpiece – to try and replace it with a “rules-based order” that “nobody has seen” and which has not been negotiated among the world’s great powers.

Saying that the West has “arrogantly” reformed the processes of multilateralism on the regional level to “advance its interests,” Lavrov denounced the role of Western nations in Latin America, Asia and other regions.

The Russian official also criticized the “illegitimate unilateral measures” – presumably referring to various sanctions – imposed on his country and on other states and denounced what he called the manipulation of trade rules and institutions like the International Monetary Fund.

According to Lavrov, the IMF has become “a tool” for fulfilling the objectives of the US and its allies, including objectives of a “military nature” in a “desperate attempt” to confirm its “domination.”

Washington has set out on the road to destroy globalization, the Russian foreign minister claimed, which for many years he said the US has presented as “the greatest benefit to humanity.”

Throughout his speech, Lavrov lumped the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere into the same category, accusing them of suffering from a superiority complex and, as an example, pointing to a speech by Europe’s top diplomat, Spain’s Josep Borrell, in which he compared Europe to a “garden” and the rest of the world to a “jungle.”

He said that “our common obligation” is to preserve the UN as the “proven beacon” for multilateralism and the coordination of international policies, the “key” to success in this endeavor being “concerted efforts, the abandonment of pretensions to exceptionalism, and … respect for the sovereign equality of states.”

Meanwhile, at the same Security Council session, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, asserting that the move was a violation of the UN Charter and of international law and is causing massive suffering and devastation in Ukraine, as well as worsening global economic problems brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

After they had both spoken, Lavrov and Guterres met behind closed doors.

During the month of April, Russia holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, the presidency of which rotates on a monthly basis among its 15 member states as per their nations’ alphabetical order in English. The last time Russia held the presidency was in February 2022, the very month it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Holding the Council presidency is arguably a key position from which Russia can try to convince nations around the world to either support its actions in Ukraine or at least to remain neutral in the matter.

EFE –/bp