The Ukrainian leader’s participation at the General Assembly will be another pointless show, Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia says
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine at the General Assembly next week, the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, has said.
At the same time, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. He is also expected to take part in the Security Council meeting the next day, though this has not been officially confirmed yet.
Asked by RIA Novosti about the possibility of Lavrov and Zelensky crossing paths, Nebenzia replied that “obviously, Russia will take part in the upcoming high-level UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine as it did in all previous Council meetings on this issue.” Lavrov will represent the country at the gathering on September 20, he added.
There have been no high-level contacts between Moscow and Kiev since the failure of the peace talks in Istanbul in late March 2022, a month after the outbreak of the conflict between the neighbors. Last fall, Zelensky signed an official decree forbidding him from negotiating with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian leader’s participation at the General Assembly will be another “show” with “zero” practical results, which is typical for all other “politicized” initiatives of the US and its allies regarding Ukraine, Nebenzia said.
For Zelensky, “the role of comedian on stage is of course familiar, but we, as the founding nation of the UN, are saddened to see… the high platform of this organization being used for self-promotion if not downright travesty,” the envoy said.
A UN source told TASS that Ukraine could be represented by its top diplomat, Dmitry Kuleba, but not Zelensky, at the Security Council meeting. These events do not require heads of states to attend and are usually held on the ministerial level, the source explained. Lavrov and Kuleba last met face to face in early March 2022.
Earlier this week, Politico reported, citing an unnamed senior Ukrainian government official, that Zelensky is planning to use his speech at the UN and in-person meetings with leaders to convince “hesitant” countries to support Ukraine in the conflict with Russia.
“To secure a comprehensive, long-lasting peace, we need more than Western political support. We have to have many countries on board, including from the Global South, because their voices matter,” the official said.