accused Russia of “shamelessly violating” the United Nations charter during an address before the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, decrying the war in Ukraine and excoriating Russian President
for hinting he could use nuclear weapons in the conflict there.
Mr. Biden’s speech at the annual gathering in New York City came after Mr. Putin used a national address Wednesday to raise the potential for a nuclear response in the conflict and ordered reservists to mobilize following losses on the battlefield.
Nearly seven months into the conflict, Ukraine has made gains with a rapid counteroffensive, and Russia has struggled to oppose Ukraine and the West. Mr. Biden sought to rally other nations against Russia, saying: “This world should see these outrageous acts for what they are.”
“Let us speak plainly: A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase the sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations charter,” Mr. Biden said, referring to the 15-member group that can pass binding resolutions. Russia retains its permanent seat and veto power in the Security Council.
Mr. Biden called the nuclear threats a “reckless disregard for the responsibilities of a nonproliferation regime.”
Calling on the world community to stand against Russia, Mr. Biden said the U.S. would defend the U.N. charter and offered support for increasing the number of both permanent and nonpermanent representatives to the Security Council, the U.N.’s most powerful body.
Stressing the U.S. efforts to support Ukraine with security and humanitarian assistance, Mr. Biden said the U.S. was working closely with allies to impose costs on Russia.
He added: “If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for, everything.”
Mr. Biden also announced $2.9 billion in additional global food-security assistance amid food shortages caused in part by the war. And he noted U.S. efforts to combat climate change.
A senior administration official said that the National Security Council had been aware that Mr. Putin might make an announcement. Mr. Biden reviewed his speech Wednesday morning with Secretary of State
and national security adviser
after Mr. Putin spoke earlier Wednesday, and some lines were “adjusted and emphasized,” the official said.
Like many leaders attending the meeting, Mr. Biden was in the U.K. on Monday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. He returned to Washington on Monday evening and traveled to New York on Tuesday night. He will return to Washington on Thursday.
Also on the president’s New York schedule is a meeting with new British Prime Minister
which is expected to focus on economic issues and Ukraine, as well as Mr. Biden’s concerns about upholding the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland as part of the Brexit deal. Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden will also host a reception for world leaders at the American Museum of Natural History.
Neither Mr. Putin nor Chinese President
is in attendance at the annual U.N. gathering.
Nearly seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the White House has been encouraged lately by Ukraine’s push east. Ukraine launched an offensive to retake land in the country’s northeast earlier this month, handing Moscow a stinging defeat and liberating about 10% of territory Russia had captured since the beginning of its invasion.
Without providing evidence, Mr. Putin said on Wednesday that top NATO officials had said that it would be acceptable to carry out nuclear strikes on Russia. He threatened to use nuclear weapons and ordered the country’s reservists to mobilize.
Officials in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine announced plans this week for Russia to annex four regions in the country’s east and south. Mr. Sullivan decried those as “sham referenda” and said the U.S. wouldn’t recognize Russia’s claims to any annexed territory.
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The U.S. recently announced $675 million in new military assistance to Ukraine and $2 billion in additional funding for that country and other nations in the region. The announcements brought the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to more than $15 billion under the Biden administration, with most provided since Russia’s invasion in February.
Mr. Biden also repeated U.S. support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. He stressed U.S. backing for human rights. And he repeated support for the “One China” policy at a tense moment for relations with China.
A concern for the president as he confers with other leaders is countering China’s influence. Mr. Xi met with Mr. Putin last week, with Mr. Putin saying he sought to address Beijing’s concerns about the Ukraine war.
In a recent television interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Mr. Biden repeated comments that U.S. troops could defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Those remarks prompted criticism from Beijing at a time of heightened tensions, particularly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) traveled to the island over the strong objections from mainland China.
Officially, the U.S. maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding Taiwan, under which the U.S. has generally refrained from saying whether it would intervene directly in the event of an invasion by China. The White House has said its policy toward Taiwan hasn’t changed.
Tarini Parti contributed to this article.
Write to Catherine Lucey at firstname.lastname@example.org
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