Ukraine war: Russia has violated 1945 UN charter, says Joe Biden

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By AP  with Euronews
US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2022.
US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2022.   -   Copyright  AFP

US President Joe Biden has slammed Russia over its naked aggression in Ukraine at the UN's General Assembly.

Biden stated on Wednesday that the invasion in February directly violates the UN's 1945 general charter, signed after World War II.

But the US President stopped short of saying that Russia should be ousted as a member of the UN Security Council.

Speaking in New York, the US President verbally berated Russia as the war nears the seven-month mark, blaming Vladimir Putin squarely for events when he said it was "a war chosen by one man." 

"No-one threatened Russia, and no-one other than Russia sought conflict," said President Biden. 

"Now we see attacks on schools, railway stations, schools, hospitals... and Ukrainian centres of culture," he said, noting evidence of war crimes committed by Russia. 

Biden said that the war was about extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state and as a people "plain and simple." 

"If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences we put at risk everything this institution stands for." 

Russia is one of five permanent members of the Security Council, capable of vetoing any security resolution, and President Biden said he wanted to expand the number of permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council, to include representatives from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Russia mobilisation

The address comes as Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to hold Kremlin-backed referendums on annexation this week.

Putin has also announced a partial mobilisation to call up 300,000 reservists, accusing the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin last week that now is not the time for war, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has also expressed questions and concerns about the situation.

Biden's speech also echoed his previous address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, and highlighted issues around food security and hunger, the climate crisis, nuclear non-proliferation and human rights abuses - in particular in China.  

This year’s summit in New York also comes less than seven weeks before pivotal midterm elections in the United States.

Biden’s visit to the UN also takes place amid his administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Senior US officials said no breakthrough with Iran is expected during the General Assembly but Biden would make clear in his speech that a deal can still be done “if Iran is prepared to be serious about its obligations.”

He added that administration officials would be consulting with fellow signatories of the 2015 deal on the sidelines of this week’s meetings.