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UN chief calls Russian invasion an 'affront' ahead of one year anniversary
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine "an affront to our collective conscience" at the UN General Assembly on Feb. 22, the BBC reported.
"It is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law," he said at a meeting where a motion demanding Russia pull out of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally was being debated. Sixty countries have sponsored the resolution.
Guterres also said that Russia's war was "fanning regional instability and fuelling global tensions and divisions while diverting attention and resources from other crises and pressing global issues."
He also warned of a "spiraling conflict" whose consequences were a "clear and present danger," adding that there had been "implicit threats to use nuclear weapons."
"It is high time to step back from the brink," he said.
"Complacency will only deepen the crisis while further eroding our shared principles proclaimed in the Charter. War is not the solution. War is the problem. People in Ukraine are suffering enormously. Ukrainians, Russians, and people far beyond need peace."
The meeting and Guterres' comments come a day after Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced in a speech to the Federal Assembly and members of the Russian political elite that Russia would be suspending its participation in the New START treaty, a nuclear arms reduction agreement.