The boycott by envoys from the European Union, the United States, Britain and others left only a few diplomats in the room including Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, who is a former deputy to Lavrov. Envoys from Syria, China and Venezuela were among delegations that stayed.
Lavrov was addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council remotely, after cancelling his visit due to what the Russian mission said on Monday were EU states blocking his flight path.
Neutral Switzerland also imposed financial sanctions on Lavrov on Monday, a measure of the international revulsion over an invasion Russia describes as a “special military operation” aimed at dislodging “neo-Nazis” ruling Ukraine.
In his speech, Lavrov accused the EU of engaging in a “Russophobic frenzy” by supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine during Moscow’s military campaign that began last Thursday.
A Russian armoured column bore down on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Tuesday and invasion forces fired rocket barrages into the centre of Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, on the sixth day of Russia’s assault on its neighbour.
‘SHOW OF SUPPORT’
Among the diplomats who walked out, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod joined Ukraine’s ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko behind a large Ukrainian blue and yellow flag.