Guterres Accuses Russia of Perverting the Concept of Peacekeeping

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has accused on Wednesday Russia of perverting the concept of peacekeeping after Russian President Putin recognized the two breakaway Donbas republics as sovereign states and deployed troops there.

Due to the latest developments in Ukraine, the UN chief has cut short his overseas visit that included a very important summit of African leaders.

Warning that Putin’s move was a death blow to the Minsk agreements UNSC endorses, Guterres, speaking to journalists on Tuesday, condemned Russia’s decision to recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), branding it a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

He stressed that the latest developments in Ukraine, which are the biggest global peace and security crisis in recent years and in his tenure as Secretary-General, are testing the entire international system and added that they must pass this test.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has later pointed out that Guterres’ statement is unbecoming to his status and falls outside his remit under the UN charter, lamenting what he described as the Guterres’ bowing to Western pressure over the situation in Ukraine.

Lavrov underscored that never before had a UN Secretary-General made such remarks about any other previous armed conflict.

Previously on Monday, during the emergency session of the UN Security Council, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo has pointed out that they must prevent at all costs a major conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

DiCarlo expressed her concerns over the intensifying shelling in Donetsk and Luhansk following Putin’s decision to send Russian troops, which has led to mass evacuations, a number of casualties, and targeting of civilian infrastructure.

Reminding UNSC members of their responsibilities under international humanitarian law, she called for an immediate halt to hostilities, an end to inflammatory rhetoric, and protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

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