UN General Assembly: Biden wants to persuade the world to support Ukraine, but it is a difficult task – WP

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US President Joe Biden has a clear agenda for the annual meeting of world leaders at the UN General Assembly this week in New York. He wants to maintain strong global support for Ukraine. But this task will be difficult to achieve, especially this year.

Ukrainian officials had hoped to travel to New York this week to announce significant successes in the summer counteroffensive. But reinforced Russian forces are hampering efforts to achieve a significant breakthrough, and both sides continue to suffer heavy losses.

«The war’s impact on food and energy prices has intensified calls in developing countries for a negotiated settlement to the conflict. And support among the American public is waning as parts of the Republican Party criticize the cost of military aid, estimated at $73 billion.», – writes the Washington Post.

The publication writes that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who also visited New York, will try to help Biden to raise awareness of Russian atrocities and emphasize that the Kremlin’s invasion violates the most sacred principle of the UN – the sovereignty of borders. The leader of Ukraine hopes that this message will unite all states that fear coercion from a stronger neighbor.


“President Biden looks forward to hearing President Zelensky’s perspective on all of this, and to reaffirming to the world, to the United States, to the American people, his resolve to continue to lead the world in supporting Ukraine.” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday.

An important arrow in Biden’s quiver will be the relatively low attendance at the General Assembly by America’s main adversaries. Vladimir Putin, whose arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court, will not fly to New York, nor will Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his chief diplomat Wang Yi.

The Washington Post writes that the UN General Assembly, which is informally called the “super bowl of world diplomacy,” provides the best opportunity for developing countries to express their concerns about world events. The absence of Russian and Chinese leaders will give Biden and Zelensky a chance to dominate the agenda and listen to the leaders of less wealthy countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These countries are commonly called the “Global South”.

The key will be Biden’s scheduled meeting on Wednesday with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a prominent advocate of the Global South who has called for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, accusing the West of prolonging the conflict by providing weapons and military equipment to Kiev.

«The US needs to stop fueling war and start talking about peace“Lula said in the spring.


Sullivan made clear that the United States will continue to provide military support to Ukraine and will not support premature calls for peace talks, even as the front lines harden. And the likelihood that Kyiv’s forces will tear the Russian land bridge to Crimea is becoming less and less.

“From our point of view, our job is to give Ukraine the tools it needs to be in the best position on the battlefield and so that it can take the best position at the negotiating table,” said Sullivan.

According to American intelligence estimates, Ukraine will not reach Melitopol in its current offensive. Last week, General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Ukrainian troops may have only “30 to 45 days to fight” in the current offensive.

While a majority of UN member states voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many countries in the Global South are worried about the prospects of a stalemate. The bloc of African and Latin American countries maintain economic and diplomatic ties with the Kremlin and are reluctant to apply Western sanctions for fear of their economic impact.

«The default position of most UN members is that we need to negotiate an end to the war. If Zelensky sits down at the UN Security Council and says we will fight forever, it will create a clear dissonance with many non-Western countries struggling with debt and poverty and feeling that their problems have been relegated to the background.” said Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the International Crisis Group.

Sullivan, the national security adviser, rejected the notion that there was a gap between the U.S. position and that of developing countries, saying U.S. diplomats had worked hard to bridge the gap.


«We really believe that over the last few months we have built a strong engagement and dialogue with the Global South about what a just world ultimately looks like. So far, it doesn’t look like Russia is taking this particularly seriously.“, – he said.

One of the main opponents of the US visiting New York will be Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, whose country provided Russia with the Shahed drone fleet. Moscow is using these drones to bombard Ukrainian cities. On Monday, Raisi told a small group of journalists in New York that Iran is “against the war in Ukraine. And period.”

However, when asked about Iranian military support for Russia, he appeared to play coy, asking journalists present to provide evidence while noting that Tehran had a difficult relationship with Moscow even before the war.


After the meetings in New York, Zelensky will follow Biden to Washington, where both leaders will convince Congress of the need for additional funding for Ukraine. The US President is seeking a funding package of more than $24 billion, of which $13.1 billion will go to military aid, $8.5 billion to humanitarian support and $2.3 billion to government finances.

Approval of the package has faced opposition from House Republicans, but GOP leaders say Zelensky’s visit is likely to be “very, very compelling.” In particular, Republican Congressman Michael R. Turner, who heads the Intelligence Committee, said this in an interview with CBS News.

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