World news headlines | Biden wants to reduce the UN Security Council's veto authority.

In his address to the General Assembly, the US leader also portrayed Russia as an imperial threat that the West must counter.



US President Joe Biden told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the US does not seek conflict, just cooperation, and that Russia is engaged in imperialism and seeking to obliterate Ukraine as a state. In addition, Biden supported reducing the permanent members' veto power and increasing the UN Security Council.


Trying to "wipe a sovereign state off the map," Biden charged, "Russia has shamelessly broken the key tenets of the UN Charter, no more essential than the unambiguous prohibition against countries acquiring the territory of their neighbor by force."


Additionally, he insisted that "no one threatened Russia" and that in the address to the nation that was broadcast earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin made "overt nuclear threats against Europe" and displayed a "reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the nonproliferation regime."


Putin stated that Russia was ready to use its nuclear deterrent to defend its territory from WMDs, but he made no mention of any particular targets.


The US wants the crisis in Ukraine to "end on just terms... that you cannot steal a nation's land by force," Biden said at the UN, adding that if nations can pursue their imperial goals without consequences, then we put at peril what this institution stands for.


Biden stated that members of the Security Council and UN should "consistently defend the Charter" and "refrain from using the veto except in rare, extreme occasions" but not explicitly ask for Russia to be expelled from either body. Washington also desires to add "nations we have long supported" to the UNSC's roster of permanent and rotational members.


Biden asserted that the sanctions put in place by the US and its allies "explicitly" permit Moscow to export food and to add fertilizer without restriction. He accused Moscow of "pumping out misinformation" regarding the origin of food shortages. The West has sanctioned all Russian shipping and prohibited insurance, thereby preventing the cargo from reaching its destination, the Russian Foreign Ministry has noted.


The president of the United States urged nations throughout the world not to restrict exports or "hoard" food. A dozen nations, including India, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Turkey, have implemented export limits this year in reaction to food shortages that Vice President Biden has attributed to Moscow and Western sanctions against Moscow.


The US leader also reiterated that Washington doesn't seek out war, doesn't force anyone to choose an alliance, and supports infrastructure expenditures not to foster reliance but to boost self-sufficiency.


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