During a United Nations Security Council meeting chaired by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that focused on safeguarding the principles of the UN's charter, which Moscow is accused of violating by invading Ukraine last year, Ukraine's international allies criticized Russia.
In a note to UN member states outlining the premise for Monday's meeting, Russia denounced the "unipolar world order" that emerged following the end of the Cold War.
Before the meeting, Lavrov stated that the UN system was "going through a severe crisis" and blamed the West, specifically the United States, for the situation.
"It's not all about Ukraine," he told reporters.
Lavrov stated, "The question is whether international relations will continue to be shaped by establishing a sound consensus based on a balance of interests or by the aggressive and volatile advancement of Washington's hegemony."
Russia presently holds the monthly rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council and organized this meeting as one of its "signature" events.
Lavrov warned the meeting that the world was at a "possibly even more dangerous" crossroads than during the Cold War.
"The erosion of faith in multilateralism exacerbates the situation," he said. "Let's call a spade a spade. Nobody permitted the Western minority to speak on behalf of the entire human race, he continued.
During the meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seated next to Lavrov, condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a "violation" of international law and the UN charter.
Guterres stated that the war "is causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people and contributes to the global economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
"The multilateral system is under greater strain than at any time since the creation of the United Nations," he stated. "Tensions between global powers have never been higher. So, too, are the dangers of conflict resulting from misfortune or miscalculation."
Security Council members, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, condemned Russia for its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
By organizing this debate, Russia is attempting to depict itself as a defender of the UN Charter and multilateralism. There is nothing further from the truth. It is unscrupulous, said Olof Skoog, ambassador of the European Union.
Ambassador Barbara Woodward of the United Kingdom stated that the world has witnessed "what Russia's concept of multilateralism means for the world" – the trampling of the United Nations Charter and a war that has brought unimaginable suffering to Ukraine and been "an unmitigated disaster for Russia as well."
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Washington's UN ambassador, held a copy of the UN charter and emphasized the significance of defending its values.
Thomas-Greenfield stated at the meeting, "Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded its neighbor in Ukraine and struck at the heart of the UN charter."
She stated that Russia's actions during the fourteen-month war demonstrate that the invasion of Ukraine was not an isolated incident.
"This is not only a problem for Ukraine or Europe. It concerns us all. Because today it's Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be another nation, another minor country invaded by a larger neighbor."