| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

US, UK leave UN meeting as wanted Russian commissioner begins to speak

As the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC), began to speak via video conference, the US and UK walked out of a meeting at the United Nations.

Malta and Albania, two of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, also boycotted the meeting requested by Russia on evacuating children from conflict zones and walked out.

The UK and US blocked the UN webcast of the informal meeting, known as the Arria-formula meeting, due to concerns over ”spreading disinformation.”

”We will use every opportunity to push back on their using their perch in the chair to spread disinformation, and to use their chair to push support of their efforts,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters.

”It’s for that reason today that we have opposed their Arria-formula briefer (by) a woman who has been charged with war crimes, who has been involved in deporting and removal of children from their homes to Russia.”

”And we strongly are opposed to that. And that’s why we’ve joined the UK in blocking UN WebTV from being used to allow her to have an international podium to spread disinformation and to try to defend her horrible actions that are taking place in Ukraine,” she added.

Last month, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, who are accused of abducting children from Ukraine.

Lvova-Belova has rejected the abduction claims and said that the Ukrainian children were taken for their safety.

She said that Russia has received some 5 million Ukrainians, including 700,000 children, since the war started on Feb. 24, 2022 and around 1,300 children have been returned to Ukraine.

Russia currently holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, which has drawn anger and criticism from Ukraine and its allies.

  • Anadolu Agency