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As the United Nations (UN) held 2 days of special sessions this week to address the situation in Ukraine and the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage, Russia defended itself by saying that its ongoing war in Ukraine is a matter of “survival.”
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, argued that the war was one against, not only Ukraine but the wider West. “As for our country, we see all of this as a war with the West for survival, for the future of our country, for our children, for our identity,” Nebenzya said.
According to Nebenzya, “Ukraine is nothing but a bargaining chip in this plot,” a statement that reflects Russia’s intentions of a broader scheme that has been in the works since 2014.
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said in a press conference on February 14 that “the war didn’t start in February last year. The war started in 2014.” Nebenzya’s comments to the UN this week support Stoltenberg’s claim.
The day before Nebenzya made his remarks, the UN Security Council had convened at the urging of permanent member Russia to discuss new allegations surrounding the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage. During that meeting, Nebenzya requested an independent investigation into the sabotage.
At the Security Council meeting, Nebenzya referred to journalist Seymour Hersh’s report, which indicated that the pipeline was sabotaged as part of a covert CIA operation that involved the US Navy and assistance from Norway. “This journalist is telling the truth. This is more than just a smoking gun that detectives love in Hollywood blockbusters. It’s a basic principle of justice; everything is in your hands, and we can resolve this today,” Nebenzya told the council.
The Chinese ambassador immediately responded to Nebenzya’s comments saying, “As the most authoritative and representative international organization, the UN can play an active role in conducting an international investigation and ensuring the security of transboundary infrastructure.”
U.S. Ambassador John Kelley was not entertained by Russia’s attempt to deflect blame and dodge responsibility for its aggression in Ukraine, saying that “today’s meeting is a blatant attempt to distract” from the upcoming emergency meeting of the General Assembly. At that meeting, the U.S. is expected to support a scathing UN condemnation of Moscow’s invasion to mark the one-year anniversary of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
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