Russia responds to West’s accusations
The West ought to condemn its own military adventures and pay out compensation to those who have suffered from its actions, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Thursday, according to news agency TASS.
“I would recommend to the collective West this one thing. If you want to condemn aggression — start with yourselves. Set an example by condemning your own military adventures, illegal economic restrictions, deadly colonial and neo-colonial wars, genocide, and robbery of indigenous peoples," he told the UN Security Council, commenting on the accusations regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
"Start paying off compensations to states and nations that suffered from you. Such a step would indeed bring us closer to having a more just world order that would have no place for anyone’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism," the diplomat added.
According to Nebenzya, in recent months, Russia has witnessed “a transcendent degree of hypocrisy” coming from the West. During the Ukraine conflict, Western countries “suddenly recalled that there is such a thing as the international law,” Russia’s UN envoy argued.
“When NATO was attacking Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, international law was perceived only as an annoying impediment. In futile attempts to justify their aggression against sovereign states, the collective West had to come up with exotic concepts, such as ‘humanitarian intervention’, ‘war on terror', ‘preventive strikes’," Nebenzya continued.
He said that Moscow had no information on whether US, UK or other military officers that are allegedly responsible for war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have faced charges. “The outcome is always the same: lots of casualties, and no one held accountable (even in disciplinary terms, to say nothing of criminal liability),” he added, referring to what he called “NATO atrocities.”
Following Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine in late February, Western countries have accused Russia of war crimes, with US President Joe Biden saying in April that President Vladimir Putin is carrying out “genocide.” Moscow has denied all of the allegations and has criticized the US for fueling the conflict.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.