The Kremlin has brought war back to Europe and it is behaving like a blackmailer, European Council President Charles Michel said in his speech at the UN General Assembly on 23 September.
Charles Michel also said that the Kremlin launched a hybrid war that combines “the violence of weapons with the poison of lies”. He paid special attention in his speech to refuting disinformation spread by Moscow.
First, he countered the Kremlin claims that Russia’s security has been threatened by ‘the West’ for years. “That is not true! The Kremlin is attempting – in vain, I hope – to mobilise the world against an imaginary enemy. No-one has threatened, attacked or invaded Russia. And no-one, absolutely no-one, in Europe wanted a conflict with Russia.”
The second lie, according to Michel, is that this war seeks to prevent an alleged genocide of the Russian-speaking people of Ukraine and ‘denazify’ the country. And the third lie is that the aggression against Ukraine is merely a ‘special operation’, not a war.
Michel said the fourth lie is that the sanctions are causing food and fertiliser shortages: “That is not true! It was Russia which – even before war broke out – unilaterally decided to drastically reduce its exports of grain and fertilisers, causing price volatility on the global market. It was Russia which decided to place a military blockade on the Black Sea ports, making maritime trade impossible”.
He reminded that the European Union had opened the ‘Solidarity lanes’, which have already allowed more than 10 million tonnes of food products to leave Ukraine by road, and that the UN had opened a maritime corridor in the Black Sea to help bring global prices down and start the resupply of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
“And today it is the height of cynicism that the Kremlin is again threatening not to extend the agreement concluded with the UN,” added Michel.
He also said that imperialism and revanchism are “the bases for this war of colonisation which has Ukraine as its target, and which is deliberately flouting international law and the UN Charter, to the point of brandishing the threat of nuclear weapons and even using right now the largest nuclear plant in Europe as a military base”.
“This must stop, it is not acceptable”, stressed Michel.
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