US President Joe Biden on Wednesday” accused Russia of “shamelessly violating the international order by invading Ukraine, as he pledged billions in food aid and backed an expansion of the UN Security Council seats for the developing world.
Biden sought to woo the world in an address to the United Nations hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin called up reservists to fight in Ukraine, a step Western powers portrayed the desperation.
“Let us speak plainly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor — attempted to erase the sovereign state from the map.”
Biden announced another $2.9 billion for a fund aimed at addressing global food insecurity, which has worsened markedly since the invasion of Ukraine, a major grain exporter.
Biden said the United States would back permanent seats for Africa and Latin America in addition to its previous support to include Japan and India.
Russia in recent years has been the most frequent user of its veto power. The United States, China, France and Britain also enjoy vetoes, a legacy of the power dynamics at the end of World War II.
– Calls to pressure Russia –
Just as world leaders were meeting, Russian allies announced they would hold referendums in occupied territory on annexation and Putin announced the mobilization of reservists, showing he is in no hurry to end the war.
Standing at the UN rostrum late Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the world was “facing a new fragmentation” after years of hope following the end of the Cold War and his own nation’s reunification.
Scholz said that Putin will “only give up his war and his imperialist ambitions if he realizes he cannot win.”
– No ‘Cold War’ with China –
“Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China,” Biden said. “As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader. We do not seek conflict, we do not seek a Cold War.”
On Wednesday, China called for a “ceasefire through dialogue” in Ukraine. It has previously offered moral support to Russia but US officials say Beijing has not accepted requests for material help.
Biden said that Americans “stand with the brave women of Iran” after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who was allegedly beaten to death after not wearing her headscarf in compliance with the clerical state’s guidelines.
Raisi was trailed by protesters in New York with dissidents filing human rights lawsuits against the hardline cleric over his role as a judge during mass executions in the 1980s.
Originally published as Biden lashes Putin as he backs reformed UN