Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, speakers in the Security Council examined the justification and consequences of arms supplies from the West to Kyiv, with many arguing that these weapons support that country’s self-defence against the Russian Federation’s invasion and others expressing concern that such military assistance makes a peaceful settlement a distant hope.
The Russian Federation’s representative explained that Western weapons are creeping all over the world, including the black markets in conflict areas in Latin America and Africa, thus directly undermining security. Calling Western assurances that the weapons used in Ukraine will not be used in violation of international humanitarian law “a direct lie”, he said Kyiv has been using cluster bombs to strike areas in Donetsk that have no military targets.
Rebutting such argument, the representative of the United States, Council President for August, spoke in his national capacity to express his country’s continued support for Ukraine’s self-defence, including through the provision of arms and equipment. “Russia is telling us that it is not the invading country that is responsible for the crisis,” he said, denouncing Moscow’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, including their announcement regarding the stationing of nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus.
In the same vein, Albania’s delegate, noting that information on arms transfers to Ukraine is open data, said that such transfers are legal and justified. Further, Article 51 of the UN Charter provides a clear legal basis for individual States to offer assistance to a country exercising its inherent right to self-defence.
Echoing that, Japan’s delegate said that arms supplies are driven by Ukraine’s necessity to protect itself, saying: “Rather than suggesting that support for Ukraine will imperil diplomatic efforts, Russia should immediately withdraw all its troops and military equipment from Ukraine”.
Injecting a different view, Brazil’s representative said that the increasing flow of weapons into the conflict in Ukraine assumes that there is a military solution to this conflict. He warned that the massive and ongoing introduction of arms into that country can erode the potential for a peaceful resolution.
France’s representative pointed out that the Kremlin called today’s meeting “to spread its propaganda”, stressing that it was Moscow that deliberately undermined collective security through its illegal, unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.