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24 Jan, 2024 20:38

Russia slams French ‘cosplay’ of British at UN Security Council

France has refused to call an emergency session over Ukraine shooting down a plane that was carrying its own POWs
Russia slams French ‘cosplay’ of British at UN Security Council

Paris is copying London and abusing its powers at the UN to protect Kiev, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the global body said on Wednesday. He was speaking after the French ambassador refused Russia’s request for an urgent session of the Security Council in the wake of the disaster.

An IL-76 carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners scheduled to be exchanged was shot down on Wednesday morning over Russia’s Belgorod Region. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is currently in New York, told reporters that he had requested an emergency UNSC session over the incident. 

Lavrov urged the French ambassador – who currently chairs the council – to avoid repeating the British presidency's tactics in April 2022 when it took three days to approve Russia’s request to discuss the alleged massacre in Bucha.

”We have a shocking development in the Security Council today,” Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said on X (formerly Twitter) several hours later, noting that France “declined our request for an urgent Council meeting.” 

The French ambassador said he would schedule the meeting for 5pm on Thursday, “in a clear attempt to shield their Kiev regime clients” and buy President Vladimir Zelensky’s government “more time to come to its senses and invent some at least distantly plausible explanation of what it has committed,” the Russian diplomat added.

Not only is France abusing its council presidency, Polyansky argued, it is also “cosplaying the lowest standards of their British neighbors” from April 2022. The once glorious French diplomacy has “shrunk to miserable swindling and pathetic manipulations!” he added. 

Ukrainian media outlets initially claimed the plane had been transporting missiles, but scrubbed their stories when it emerged that their own POWs were among the 74 dead. The Ukrainian General Staff eventually released a statement saying that Russia had been flying in missiles used to attack Kharkov so the flights were a legitimate target. 

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Ukraine had been notified in advance that its prisoners, due to be exchanged later in the day, would be on board the flights headed for Belgorod. The second plane, with 80 POWs on board, turned around and landed safely after the first IL-76 was shot down. 

Moscow has accused Kiev of “terrorism” and callous disregard for the lives of its own citizens. Commenting on a screenshot showing both the initial and revised Ukrainian reporting on the incident, Polyansky said that Kiev was once again “inflating the bubble of lies” to avoid blame, no matter how ridiculous its narrative may sound.

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