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Western Representatives and Allies Walk Out During Lavrov Speech at UN Rights Forum

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On Tuesday, over 100 diplomats from 40 Western countries and allies, including Japan, walked out of Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov’s speech to the top UN human rights forum objection to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. 

The representatives from the European Union, the United States, Britain, and many more boycotts left hardly any diplomats in the room, including Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva and previous deputy to Lavrov. 

Among the delegations that remained were Syria, China, and Venezuela representatives. 

Lavrov was far-off from tackling the UN Human Rights Council, following the postponement of his visit because of what the Russian mission said on Monday were EU states jamming his flight path. 

On Monday, Switzerland, a country with a foreign policy of neutrality, has implemented financial sanctions on Lavrov as well, a move of the global condemnation over an invasion Russia calls a “special military operation” targeted at deposing “neo-Nazis” governing Ukraine. 

Lavrov, in his speech, alleged the EU of participating in a “Russophobic frenzy” by offering weaponry to Ukraine during Moscow’s military operation that started last Thursday. 

On Tuesday, a Russian armored convoy moved into Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and attacking forces blasted missile bombardment into the center of Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the country, on the sixth-day mark of Russia’s strike on its neighbor. 

Some of the diplomats who walked out are Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, standing aside Ukrainian ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko behind a huge Ukrainian blue and yellow flag. 

Filipenko said in an interview, “It is a remarkable show of support for Ukrainians who are fighting for independence.” She added there had been “massive destruction to civilian infrastructure” in Kharkiv, further stating: “The maternity wards are being attacked, civilian residential buildings are being bombed.” 

However, Russia refuses to admit to aiming at any civilian sites. 

Joly of Canada stated: “Minister Lavrov was giving his version, which is false, about what is happening in Ukraine, and so that’s why we wanted to show a very strong stance together.” 

Canada will appeal in the International Criminal Court Tuesday over what Joly remarked was Russia’s “crimes against humanity and war crimes.”


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