UN chief denounced Putin over his ‘totally unacceptable’ nuclear threats | World | News

The UN Secretary-General has criticized Vladimir Putin for his nuclear threats and denounced his plans to annex parts of Ukraine as a “violation of the UN charter and of international law,” according to a news report. In a strong statement to Russia, António Guterres said Putin’s nuclear threats are “totally unacceptable,” as he spoke at the beginning of a UN Security Council.

The comments come days after Putin announced a partial mobilization and threatened to use nuclear weapons “if our country’s territorial integrity is threatened”.

He also approved referendums in four Ukrainian regions intended to pave the way for annexation, raising the prospect of viewing Ukrainian operations to retake them as a threat to Russia’s “territorial integrity”.

Guterres also said the impact of the conflict could spark a food crisis next year.

He said, “Simply put, the world will run out of food.”

Russia was widely condemned on Thursday at the Security Council meeting chaired by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

Mr Guterres continued: “The idea of ​​a nuclear conflict, once unimaginable, has become a matter of debate. This in itself is totally unacceptable.

“I am also very concerned about reports of plans to organize so-called referendums in areas of Ukraine that are not currently under government control.

“Any annexation of the territory of one state by another state as a result of the threat or use of force is a violation of the UN Charter and of international law.”

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Russia’s actions in Ukraine were strongly condemned on Thursday at a special meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: “This week President Putin said that Russia would not hesitate to use ‘all available weapon systems’ in response to a threat to its territorial integrity – a threat all the more imminent given the intention of Russia to large parts of Ukraine in the coming days.

“This from a country that joined the other permanent members of the Security Council in January this year in signing a statement affirming that ‘nuclear war can never be won and should never be fought'”

Former Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said in a social media statement on Thursday that the means by which Russia would defend itself included “strategic nuclear weapons.”

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But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused some members of the Security Council of trying to impose a false narrative about Moscow’s operations in Ukraine, and repeated allegations that ethnic Russians had been persecuted by Ukrainian government forces.

“There has been an attempt today to impose on us a very different story to show the Russian aggression as the origin of all tragedy,” Lavrov said.

He said: “This ignores the fact that for more than eight years the Ukrainian army and fighters of the nationalist formations have been residents of [the east Ukrainian region of] Donbas with impunity for refusing to recognize the results of the coup in Kiev.

“They decided to uphold their rights, which were guaranteed by the Ukrainian constitution, including the right to freely use Russian, their mother tongue.”

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