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Biden slams Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in a speech to the United Nations

President Joe Biden addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in New York, slamming Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Evan Vucci/AP

Updated September 21, 2022 at 12:57 PM ET

President Biden criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ongoing efforts to seize Ukrainian territory, in his second address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York Wednesday.

“A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbors, tempted to erase the sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations charter.”

The president called plans for snap votes in parts of occupied Ukraine to join Russia a “sham,” saying they were designed to try to annex more of Ukraine. He also criticized Putin’s announcement to call up more troops to the fight.

“Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine. We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period,” Biden said.

Biden also spoke to the importance of the U.N. charter and upholding its principles “because if nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for. Everything,” Biden said.

Russia, a member of the United Nations Security Council, has been able to veto U.N. condemnations of its war in Ukraine. Biden spoke to UNSC reforms in his speech as well, and said the U.S. supports expanding the permanent and non-permanent representatives on the council.

“Members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, should consistently uphold and defend the U.N. charter and refrain from using the veto, except in rare, extraordinary situation to ensure the council remains credible and effective,” Biden said, adding that the U.S. has “long supported” permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The president also slammed Russia in his remarks about global food insecurity, saying Russia’s war in Ukraine is worsening the food crisis.

Biden called on nations to refrain from banning food exports or hoarding grain in efforts to cut down food prices. And he announced the U.S. was putting nearly $3 billion toward food security assistance.

“If parents cannot feed their children, nothing else matters,” he said.

Biden spoke in front of the first all in-person U.N. General Assembly since the COVID-19 pandemic — though one leader, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will address the meeting with virtual remarks.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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