Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused UN chief Antonio Guterres of being “susceptible to pressure by the West” and making statements on Ukraine that are “not compatible with his status”.
Lavrov made these remarks during the opening talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Wednesday, Russia’s official TASS news agency reported.
“To our great regret, the UN Secretary General whom you are representing turned out to be susceptible to pressure by the West and recently made several statements incompatible with his status and his authority under the UN Charter,” Lavrov said.
He noted that Russia has conveyed to Guterres its assessment of his statements.
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According to Lavrov, Guterres has never expressed support for the necessity to implement the Minsk Accords and the UN Security Council resolution on the matter related to Ukraine, the report said on Wednesday.
“With regards to the situation in Ukraine, the (UN) secretary general has not raised his voice even once to support the necessity of complying with the requirements of the Minsk Package of Measures and Resolution 2202 of the (UN) Security Council which directly demand to resolve all issues by coordination between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk.
“Nobody mentioned this in the West. And, unfortunately, the secretary general followed this sad example,” he said.
Earlier, during a General Assembly meeting on Ukraine on Wednesday, Guterres had said that the decision of the Russian Federation to recognise the so-called “independence of Donetsk and Luhansk regions – and the follow-up – are violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.
The UN chief had on Tuesday also deeply criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into eastern Ukraine and his use of the term peacekeepers to describe those troops.
He told the General Assembly that the international community must also be concerned about preserving the integrity of peacekeeping.
On Wednesday night, after Putin announced a special Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine, Guterres termed the Russian President’s move as the “saddest moment in my tenure.”