WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden will try to rally the world against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, saying Moscow's war against its neighbor violates the tenets of the UN charter that established the post-World War Two body.
Biden departs on Tuesday to join the conclave of world leaders in New York. He will have his first in-person meeting with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Wednesday and participate in a summit aimed at collecting pledges to help nations battle diseases.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would not use his speech to argue that Russia should be ousted as a member of the UN Security Council, where it is one of five permanent members, capable of vetoing any security resolution.
But he said Biden will urge all nations to see that Russia's war against Ukraine is a violation of the UN's 1945 charter signed by the countries that fought the Axis Powers in World War Two.
UN members, aiming to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and set conditions for nations to "live together in peace," pledge to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations," the charter reads.
"This is a message that every country, however they feel about Russia, Ukraine, the United States, everyone should be able to center around this basic proposition: You cannot conquer your neighbor’s territory by force and peace will come fastest and most decisively if Russia abandons that effort," Sullivan said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the West wants to destroy Russia, that economic sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the conflict are akin to a declaration of economic war and that Russia will build ties with other powers such as China and India. The Ukraine war was necessary because expansion of the US-led Western military alliance NATO represented an existential threat to Russia, Putin has said.
But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin last week that now is not the time for war, and Chinese president Xi Jinping expressed questions and concerns about the situation last week when the two leaders met.
Sullivan said every country should make a case against Russia's war.
"They can do it publicly if they like, they can do it privately if they like, but sending that clear and unmistakable message to Moscow at this time is the most vital thing we can do collectively to produce peace in that region," he said.