Some 100 diplomats walked out of a speech by Russia’s foreign minister at the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 1 in protest his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The walkout was reported by virtually every mainstream newspaper and wire including The New York Times and Reuters.
Some 100 UN diplomats walk out as Russian foreign minister starts to speak https://t.co/xYRdigvega pic.twitter.com/One1S9GJkY
— Mothership.sg (@MothershipSG) March 2, 2022
A majority of those who got up and left are from Western countries.
They did so the moment Russia’s representative started talking.
Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, led the walkout.
The conference hall was largely empty with only a few people left to hear the remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov at a conference on disarmament.
Speech delivered by video link
Lavrov delivered his speech by video link.
He had planned to attend the Human Rights Council session in person, he said, but was prevented from doing so after European countries banned flights from Russia and he could not travel to Geneva.
He called the sanctions “outrageous measures by the European Union”.
Speech used to attack Ukraine
In his speech, he accused Ukraine of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, an unsubstantiated claim that Moscow has used during this invasion.
Ukraine in 1994 gave up its nuclear arsenal acquired during the Soviet-era in exchange for security guarantees.
Lavrov repeated the Kremlin’s assertions that Ukraine had “made territorial claims against the Russian Federation, threatened to use force and acquire a military nuclear capability.”
In earlier comments, he also said Ukraine still possessed Soviet-era technology that would enable it to deliver such weapons.
Lavrov also said Russia believed a “nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought”.
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