(NEW YORK, NY) — CBS News reports that President Joe Biden is expected to deliver an address at the United Nations General Assembly to call for further support for Ukraine, casting the war as a duel between democracy and autocracy.
The speech will be Biden’s first at the Assembly since Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year. This will be his first opportunity at the UN to condemn the Kremlin before other heads of state.
“He’ll offer a firm rebuke of Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine and make a call to the world to continue to stand against the naked aggression that we’ve seen these past several months,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
Although UN assemblies of this nature are normally ripe opportunities for face-to-face diplomacy, something Biden prides himself on, two of the key players will be absent. Presidents Putin and Xi of Russia and China are not planning to attend.
“Our competitors are facing increasingly strong headwinds, and neither President Xi nor President Putin are even showing up for this global gathering,” said Sullivan.
Russia’s position as one of only five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council has thrown a significant wrench in the body’s efforts to check its aggression, prompting calls that it should be removed all together. Sullivan is on record as stating that Biden will not go that far.
“It is not something that he is going to raise tomorrow, although I think the world can see that when a permanent member acts in this way it strikes at the heart of the U.N. Security Council and so that should lead everyone collectively to put pressure on Moscow to change course,” he said.
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