Russian Media Note That Fewer Than a Third of UN Members Signed Statement Supporting Ukraine

Patrick Goodenough | August 25, 2022 | 5:32am EDT
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Flanked by fellow U.N. ambassadors, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya reads out a joint statement after a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday. (UN Photo/Manuel Elías)
Flanked by fellow U.N. ambassadors, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya reads out a joint statement after a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday. (UN Photo/Manuel Elías)

(CNSNews.com) – On the sixth-month anniversary of the beginning of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian state media noted pointedly that fewer than a one-third of the U.N.’s member-states signed up to a joint statement in support of Kyiv.

Still, in New York, the image of Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador flanked by more than two dozen colleagues as he read out the joint statement contrasted sharply with that of the Russian ambassador, alone, briefing reporters.

“A joint anti-Russian statement on the conflict in Ukraine, which was released on Wednesday, was supported by only 58 United Nations member states, or less than a third of the organization’s 193 members,” the TASS state news agency reported.

Similar reports appeared in other outlets, including the state news agency RIA Novosti, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and Ivzestia. Some pointed to other recent occasions – such as Foreign Minister Sergei’s Lavrov’s Africa tour and a G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali – which they said exposed as a falsehood Western claims that Russia is isolated.

The countries that signed up to the joint statement – 57 plus the European Union – were almost all free democracies in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific.

Significant no-shows from among the democracies at the U.N. included Brazil and India. Not a single African country signed.

Marking the sixth anniversary of the start of “Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale, and illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the statement reaffirmed solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and condemned Russian missile strikes which it said have resulted in harm, displacement, and deaths of thousands of civilians.

The signatories reiterated their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity “within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.”

They demanded that Russian withdraw all of its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, immediately and unconditionally.

It was read out after a Security Council meeting by Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, joined by counterparts from a number of the signatories, prominent among them U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, wearing the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine’s national flag.

Earlier, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia answered reporters’ questions at the same stakeout podium, using the opportunity to accuse Ukrainian forces of planting mini anti-personnel mines in civilian areas in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

A reporter noted the six-month anniversary of the invasion’s start, and asked if Nebenzia expected to be “back here in another six months for a one-year anniversary.”

“I’m no fortune teller,” he replied.

Asked in that case what he would like to see happen, Nebenzia said he hoped to see “all aims and targets of the military operations that have been set by the Russian leadership implemented.”

“We have the negotiated solution that would end that conflict – but provided, and on the condition, that the goals that were set are implemented.”

The goals declared by President Vladimir Putin when he launched the “special military operation” in February were to protect civilians in the Donbass from “genocide by the Kyiv regime” and to affect the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine.

Since then, Lavrov and others have spoken of a desire to help Ukrainians oust the government in Kyiv, and to extend the operation’s geographical goals beyond the Donbass. U.S. officials have pointed to planned referendums in areas controlled by Russian forces, evidently designed to annex more Ukrainian territory.

In addition to reading out the joint statement, Kyslytsya answered a few questions, including one on Nebenzia’s comment that he could not predict whether the war would still be underway in another six months’ time.

The Ukrainian envoy replied that, personally, he would be “very much surprised that Ambassador Nebenzia lasts for another year in New York, for many reasons.”

He did not elaborate.

On Twitter later, Kyslytsya drew attention to the vivid contrast between Nebenzia briefing on his own, and the visible show of support for Ukraine.

“Isolated by zero support during the vote in the Security Council meeting on Ukraine nebenzia is shamefully lonely after the meeting,” he tweeted. “Even syrian or north korean cronies couldn’t have been grabbed by their collars to comfort the putin’s envoy at this pastiche of a press conference.”

The countries that signed Wednesday’s statement in support of Ukraine were:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the U.N. Security Council by video link on Wednesday, the sixth-month anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the U.N. Security Council by video link on Wednesday, the sixth-month anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images)
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