World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia and the U.S. implicitly criticized each other Monday at a UN Security Council debate on the effectiveness of the United Nations as its 70th anniversary nears.
"It is time to answer the question: Do we really want to see the UN an effective and influential instrument of preserving peace and security, or are we ready to allow it to turn into an arena of propagandist struggle," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Council in translated remarks.
He said the UN would have better chances to fulfill its duty of finding key solutions to international problems if some unspecified member states stopped using it as a means to dominate global affairs.
He singled out the U.S.-led anti-ISIL operation in Syria, the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the NATO-led military intervention in Libya in 2011 as examples that led to alleged violations of the UN charter, without naming the U.S.
"This is a result of attempts to dominate global affairs, to rule over all, everywhere, to use military force unilaterally to push one's own progress, one's own interests," said Lavrov.
Again without naming it specifically, he accused the U.S. of using "unsavory methods … such as massive pressure on sovereign states, attempts at imposing on them decisions and standards in politics, economics and ideology."
"For those not wishing to play ball, there are various methods, including regime change, including the open support for the unconstitutional state coup in Ukraine a year ago," he said.
Russia's top diplomat also complained about unilateral sanctions not approved by the Security Council, such as those imposed on Moscow by the United States and Europe over its actions in Ukraine. Russia denies Western allegations that it is supporting and directing Ukraine's pro-Russian rebels.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also highlighted the importance of "non-interference in internal affairs and respect for territorial integrity."
He complained about moves by some countries that "attempt to overturn and whitewash past crimes of aggression," ostensibly a swipe at Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to recast his country's World War Two history in a less apologetic tone.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius responded sharply to Lavrov's complaints.
"From eastern Ukraine to Moldova's Transnistria, to Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, a pattern exists of Russia's interference in the sovereign affairs of neighboring states," he said. "For a year now, Ukraine has been under attack by Russian commandos and mercenaries."
For her part, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power implicitly criticized Russia for violating the UN charter's commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Power said governments should respect human rights and fundamental freedoms "rather than locking up one's opponents or making ridiculous allegations in pointing fingers at foreign powers."
She criticized Russia for blocking Security Council resolutions against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and accused it of providing separatists in Ukraine with "weapons, training and blessing."
"Some seek to distort the purposes and principles, asserting for instance that human rights violations have no relation to international peace and security, or the sovereignty of nations precludes the UN's engagement on these issues," she said.
In recent years relations between Washington and Moscow has worsened to a point where some critics say they are the lowest since the 1970s.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2015, 12:00