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Biden throws stones at Russia over Ukraine war in fiery UN speech

President Joe Biden condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion as a violation of fundamental United Nations principles and called on the world to maintain support for Ukraine.

“This war is aimed at stamping out Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple. And the right to existence of the Ukrainian people. Whoever you are, where you live, whatever you believe, it will chill your blood,” Biden said Wednesday during his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

“If countries can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we risk everything this institution itself stands for – everything,” he added.

Biden spoke hours after Putin called up 300,000 reservists in what he called “partial mobilization,” and, in a nationally televised address, described his war against Ukraine. like a life-and-death war with the US and its allies. The president adjusted his remarks after Putin’s latest escalation, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Just today, President Putin made public nuclear threats against Europe and flouted the responsibility of a non-proliferation regime,” Biden said.

The development coincided with a pivotal moment in the conflict. Kyiv has won a military advantage over Moscow with a flash attack as Europe grapples with an unprecedented energy crisis that could test US allies’ willingness to keep the campaign going. put pressure on Putin.

Nuclear warning

Mr. Biden expressed concern about the increased nuclear risk that he said Russia, China and Iran posed to the world.

“Let me call on every nation to continue to strengthen the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through diplomacy,” he said, adding, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged. onion “.

Biden condemned Russia for making “irresponsible” threats to use nuclear weapons, said China was stockpiling nuclear weapons without adequate transparency and reiterated its decision to use nuclear weapons. America’s interest in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The president sought to show how America is leading by setting an example in Ukraine. His administration approved $600 million in additional weapons from the US stockpile as the country seeks to fuel the recent counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces against Russian troops in the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

The weapons package included ammunition for the HIMARS missile systems, which allowed the troops of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to attack Russian supply lines.

In response, Putin has threatened more serious consequences for Ukraine, including pursuing a plan to annex occupied Ukrainian territory and raising the specter of nuclear strikes to protect Ukraine. protect it. In his speech on Wednesday, Putin said: “This is not a hoax.

Russian forces have also stepped up attacks on civilian infrastructure. Earlier this week, Ukraine said Russian forces targeted an artillery attack on a nuclear plant north of the city of Mykolayiv, raising fears of a possible nuclear disaster. The strikes caused further anxiety due to fighting around the occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant.

Zelenskiy has also brought charges of war crimes against Russia, saying authorities have discovered mass graves in territory liberated from Russian occupation and calling on the Kremlin to bear responsibility.

Putin is not expected to attend the General Assembly, but Zelenskiy is expected to speak before the meeting later Wednesday via video. Russian officials remained in the room while Biden spoke.

Rising energy prices, exacerbated by Russia cutting gas supplies to Europe, have raised questions about how committed allied governments will continue their pressure campaign against a difficult winter.

Germany, which has been hit hard by the cuts, is working to secure liquefied natural gas from the United Arab Emirates as part of the to push to offset Russia’s supply-cutting efforts.

The United States is working with an international task force to increase oil and natural gas supplies and has contributed 32 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Europe, said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said this month, nearly double its original commitment in March.

The United States also pushing The Group of Seven countries imposed a cap on Russian oil prices in an attempt to starve the Kremlin, the main source of revenue for their war machine. But figuring out how to enforce the limit – and at what price to set it – has proved difficult. Putin has warned that he could freeze oil and gas exports in response to the cap.

Biden also announced $2.9 billion in US government support to tackle food insecurity and called on countries to prioritize addressing the issue. Rising prices caused by war have harmed some of the world’s poorest countries.

The US president accused Russia of “spreading lies trying to blame” for food shortages caused by allied sanctions.

“Russia’s war is exacerbating food insecurity and only Russia can end it,” he said.

The UN brokered an agreement with the help of Turkey to allow more Ukrainian grain to access world markets in an effort to bring prices down. The safe transit agreement allows grain shipments to flow out of three of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blocked by Russian forces.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, millions of tons of Ukrainian agricultural exports have been shipped since the agreement was reached, including to Africa.

Putin has threatened to cut the deal, alleging that there are not enough food shipments reaching the world’s poor.

“We urge all nations to refrain from banning food exports or hoarding grain while so many people are suffering,” Biden said.

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