Speaking at an annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, presented Russia’s invasion as a worldwide threat that would not stop at the borders of Ukraine.
He added that Russia was weaponizing essentials like food and energy “not only against our country but against all of yours, as well.”
President Biden also condemned Russia’s “naked aggression” and said the U.S. would continue to stand with the “brave people of Ukraine.” If the world appeases Russia, he asked, “Can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?”
Unity is a frequent theme for the General Assembly when the leaders and representatives of nearly 200 nations gather. But the world has become increasingly polarized: Russia’s war against Ukraine is pitting Moscow against the U.S. and its allies, while tensions between China and the United States are rising.
More weapons: As Zelensky spoke in New York City, defense ministers and other top officials met in Ramstein, Germany, to discuss providing military aid to Ukraine. The U.S. defense secretary said that Abrams battle tanks will arrive soon, bringing a powerful weapon to help Ukraine advance in its slow-moving counteroffensive.
The U.N. general secretary’s reluctance to call out major fossil fuel-producing countries by name shows the constraints of diplomacy on addressing climate change.