President Biden criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and announced another $1.2 billion aid package for Ukraine during his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
“Let’s talk frankly: invaded a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, tried to wipe the sovereign country off the map,” Biden said, describing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “a brutal, needless war of one man’s choice.”
The status of Russia and China as two of the five members of the Security Council undermines the ability of the United Nations to fulfill its mission, Biden continued to argue. Determined to send signals to allies and adversaries alike that the United States will not hesitate in its defense of Ukraine and support for other sovereign nations, the president urged the United Nations to add additional members to the Security Council to weaken the influence of Russia and China. But he did not go quickly to demand the abolition of their membership in the Security Council, along with the right of veto.
“It is time for this institution to become more inclusive,” Biden said.
The annual week of meetings at the United Nations Headquarters, the first in-person gathering in three years, comes as Putin, his army that has suffered major setbacks in recent weeks, has indicated it is now planning to annex occupied areas of Ukraine. Puppet governments allied with Moscow are preparing to hold sham referendums on joining Russia.
“The world must see these terrible acts for what they are,” Biden said of the planned vote.
Just hours before Biden’s speech, Putin announced an immediate partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists in a pre-recorded speech broadcast on Russian state television. He described the conflict as a war with the West, and went so far as to threaten to deploy nuclear weapons.
“For the defense of Russia and our people, we will undoubtedly use all the weapons resources available to us,” Putin said. “This is not a hoax.”
Putin’s comments won’t come as a surprise to the White House, as national security officials continue to believe the war is still far from resolved despite Ukraine’s success in driving Russian forces out of previously occupied territories in the country’s east.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Biden’s guiding principle has kept the United States and NATO united and away from any direct confrontation with Russia. Speaking to the world nearly seven months later, he sought to reinforce the determination of the world’s leading democracies to continue to stand behind Ukraine, even as the protracted conflict upended energy markets, exacerbated inflation, and created domestic problems for leaders in London, Paris and Berlin. .
He will hold his first meeting with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss later Wednesday.
At the same time, he is trying to avert a possible attack on Taiwan by China. In an interview Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Biden said he would respond militarily to any act of aggression by Beijing that violates Taiwan’s sovereignty — the kind of response he took off the table from the start when Russia was ready. Invasion of Ukraine.
In his remarks on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to band together in support of the principles enshrined in the organization’s charter, providing a grim summary of a world in which democratic principles and institutions are increasingly under attack and multilateral organizations are powerless. To mobilize responses to combat climate change, food insecurity, disease, human rights violations and other challenges.
“We can’t go on like this,” Guterres said. “It is our duty to act. And yet we are caught up in a massive global dysfunction.”