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Lavrov at UN: Western minority’s place in multilateral world

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov chaired Monday’s session of the UN Security Council, dedicated to “effective multilateralism.” In his opening remarks, he outlined the nature of the current conflict, which he said was really between the UN Charter and the “rules-based order” of the collective West.

Lavrov also noted that the US had effectively denied visas to his accredited media pool, a move to which Moscow has vowed to respond in such a way “to make Americans remember that things should not be done in such a fashion.”

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Crisis of the world order

The UN-centric system is going through a deep crisis caused by some members’ desire to replace international law with their “rules-based order,” Lavrov said. Such “rules” are invented ad hoc and applied to stop independent development. They are enforced through means ranging from military force to embargoes, financial sanctions, confiscation of property, “destruction of critical infrastructure” – likely a reference to Nord Stream sabotage – and “manipulation of universally agreed norms and procedures.” The WTO has been paralyzed, market mechanisms have collapsed, and the IMF has been turned into “an instrument for achieving the objectives of the US and its allies.”

Globalization and its enemies

“In a desperate attempt to assert its dominance by punishing the disobedient, the US has moved to destroy globalization, which for many years it extolled as the greatest good of all mankind,” said the Russian foreign minister. Now the US and its allies blacklist anyone who dissents from their “golden billion” and tell the rest of the world, “those who are not with us are against us.”

Yet the “Western minority” has no right to speak for the entire world, Lavrov said. Its “rules-based order” amounts to rejection of sovereign equality, the key principle of the UN Charter, as evidenced by EU commissioner Josep Borrell’s infamous statement about the European “garden” and the “jungle” outside it.

Gross violations of the UN Charter

In addition to the string of US military “adventures” from Yugoslavia and Iraq to Libya, the worst violation of the UN Charter was its meddling in the affairs of post-Soviet states, Lavrov said. As examples, he brought up the “color revolutions” in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan and the 2014 coup in Kiev. When the UN sought to stop the ensuing war by endorsing the Minsk Agreements, they were “trampled by Kiev and its Western masters, who recently cynically and even proudly admitted that they never intended to fulfill them, but only wanted to buy time to pump Ukraine with weapons against Russia,” the Russian foreign minister added.

What the Ukraine conflict is about

Today “it is clear to everyone” that the Ukraine conflict isn’t about Ukraine at all, but “about how international relations will be built: through crafting a stable consensus based on a balance of interests, or through aggressive and explosive promotion of hegemony,” Lavrov said. Russia has “honestly said what we are fighting for” in Ukraine, he added. The goals of its military operation are to eliminate the threat to its security posed by NATO, and protect the people whose rights recognized by international conventions have been systematically violated, by a regime that seeks to “expel and exterminate” them.

How to save the UN

The West has made a “brazen attempt to subjugate” the UN by taking over its secretariats and other international institutions, Lavrov told the Security Council. Washington and its allies have abandoned diplomacy and demanded a battlefield showdown within the halls of the UN, created to prevent the horrors of war. Genuine multilateralism “requires the UN to adapt to objective trends” of emerging multipolarity in international relations, the Russian foreign minister argued. The Security Council should be reformed to increase the representation of Africa, Asia and Latin America, as the current “exorbitant overrepresentation” of the West “undermines the principle of multilateralism.” 

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