Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
As Conflict in Sudan Persists, More Foreign Nationals are Evacuated; Paul Whelan's Sister Addresses the U.N. Security Council; U.N. Security Council Meeting Presided Over by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov; Secretary-General Guterres Delivers Speech Discussing the Necessity of Multilateral Cooperation; Five People Hurt in Car Ramming Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 24, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm Eleni Giokos live from Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World".
Coming up this hour, people flee from Sudan. Russia chairs the meeting of the U.N. Security Council. China's ambassador to France sparks outrage
suggesting former Soviet states don't exist. And what it's like to be a Palestinian reporter on Israeli TV.
Unspeakable destruction and immense sadness. Those words coming from Norway's ambassador to Sudan, among the more than 1000, foreign diplomats
evacuated from Khartoum. So, far fighting is raging on for a 10th day with no end in sight. After multiple broken ceasefires, diplomats from across
the world are being airlifted out of the capital.
Now, over the weekend, U.S. Special Operations Forces safely evacuated American embassy personnel. Sudanese civilians are making long and very
difficult journeys by land and by boat to neighboring countries.
And I want to bring in Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon. We also have Sam Kiley in Djibouti for us where that was the first stop for many of those
evacuated diplomats as well. We've got both Sam and Oren with us.
Sam, I want to start with you. Djibouti is just one of the important exit routes which has been used by the U.S. to evacuate diplomats. I want you to
tell me what you've been seeing and just how busy it's been over the last 24 hours.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here, Djibouti, Eleni, is the location for really the international coordination of what is
now becoming an increasingly complex and dangerous effort to try to get foreigners, at least, out of Sudan and into safety. Now, the Americans lead
the vanguard of efforts to go and get their diplomats, their dependence and a handful of other people out of Khartoum over the weekend with a special
forces mission involving three helicopters, Chinook helicopters. They refueled in Addis Ababa and then going on flying very low, traveling very
slowly to the capital of Sudan, where they were less than an hour on the ground.
They took in British special forces who then went out and gathered contingents of Britain's together, including diplomats. They had to travel
then 18 kilometers out to a desert airstrip to get their citizens out. And that's -- the French did a very similar sort of operation. The French are
now on their fourth or fifth aircraft rotation, moving people into an out of an airstrip near Khartoum. Bringing out close to 500 people.
The British have been criticized for only taking out a little over 100 and leaving other British citizens in the country. There is estimated to be
16,000 Americans potentially still left in Sudan, many of them, of course, dual nationals.
But this has been a multinational operation that is ongoing. There are forces here from Japan, from South Korea, to Spain. And, of course, the
United States here at Camp Lemonnier, which is the permanent U.S. base here in Djibouti, which really is -- because it's on the edge of the
international airport, it's very much the focus of these military efforts.
But the signals coming from the United States is that their advice to civilians stuck there, their nationals, is to remain in place because the
violence and chaos that is gripping the country, in particular the capital, mitigates against. It makes, basically, very dangerous to leave their homes
if you're safe. And try to make it out onto the land convoys that are now being put together.
The United Nations put together a 70 or so vehicle convoy that is expected or has just arrived in port Sudan that was traveling a huge distance, more
than 500 miles, 800 kilometers. There's a chronic shortage of food, fuel and water in the Sudanese capital.
So, all of this combining to really very dangerous situation for foreigners, but above all for the Sudanese, they are going to be left
behind, those that can't flee the country or flee the fighting for the foreseeable future. And Eleni, of course, that is a country that has been
very heavily dependent on the efforts of the international aid community, among others to try to keep the country together following two recent
And now, this battle between rival elements trying to dominate an amalgamated armed forces for Sudan, Eleni
GIOKOS: All Right. Sam and Oren, we have to interrupt.
I want to take you to the United Nations headquarters in New York. We'll be hearing from U.S.-U.N. secretary ambassador. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: But it's is impossible to ignore the giant elephant in the room, Russia. Russia, the convener of
today's meeting invaded his neighbors in Ukraine and struck at the heart of the U.N. Charter. And Russia, time and time, again has violated universal
human rights and fundamental freedoms, both outside and inside its own borders. That includes arbitrarily detaining political activists,
journalists and opposition leaders, as well as the wrongful detention of American citizens.
Right now, Paul Whelan, it's in a Russian penal colony simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And right now, Evan Gershkovich
is being wrongfully detained by the Russian government simply for doing his job as a respected journalist, as you are doing here today. Of course, Paul
and Evan are also beloved friends, they're sons, they are brothers.
There is a human cost to Russia's violation of international norms, to its barbaric practice of using people as political ponds. That cost is born by
those detained but also by their family and friends as Paul's sister here with me today can attest to. Since the earliest days of this
administration, we have sought to bring Paul Whelan home. As Secretary Blinken said recently, the United States has made a proposal, proposed
release, and we urge Russia to move on that proposal. It's time to let Paul come home.
In the meantime, we will not stop, we will not rest, and we will not relent until Paul, Evan and all hostages and wrongfully detained Americans are
brought back safe and sound. Thank you very much. And with that I'd like to turn the floor over to Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH WHELAN, SISTER OF PAUL WHELAN: One second, I have some notes. I'm Elizabeth Whelan, the sister of Paul Whelan, who has been wrongfully
detained in Russia since December 2018. When on a visit to Moscow, Paul Whelan was set up by the Russian security services, the FSB and arrested on
false charges of espionage. He was held for a year and a half at Lefortovo Prison where journalist Evan Gershkovich is currently being held on the
This Russian playbook is so lazy that even Evan has the same investigator, a man who harassed and interrogated my brother until Paul's sham trial in
June of 2020. When Paul was given a horrific sentence of 16 years for a crime he did not commit.
Now, Paul is being held in labor camp IK-17 in the remote province of Mordovia. Held as a pawn and victim of Russia's descent into lawlessness.
Paul has not committed a crime, but a crime has been committed against him. I no longer know what my brother looks like. The images that we see on
television and in the news, that's Paul Whelan in the life he was living before he was taken captive. No one has been allowed to take a photo of him
since his trial almost three years ago.
Paul was a corporate security director. He had a job he loved, a home, a life of hope and opportunity. All that has been taken away from him by
Russia, a country that revels in its culture of lies, its tradition of hostage diplomacy. Russia's less than sophisticated take on diplomacy is to
arbitrarily detain American citizens in order to extract concessions from the United States.
This is not the work of a mature and responsible nation. It is the action of a terrorist state. Paul was first in what has been an escalating series
of wrongful detentions by Russia. First my brother Paul Whelan, then Trevor Reed, both tourists, the sports star Brittney Griner, and now the
journalist Evan Gershkovich. And who will be their next victim? It doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to see that Russia will continue to push
I am here today to tell the global community that one way to engage in effective multilateralism is to confront those countries that resort to
hostage diplomacy. And I am here to tell Russia free Paul Whelan.
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Thank you all. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any chance to talk to the foreign minister about this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: We heard from Elizabeth Whelan. All right. We've just heard from Elizabeth Whelan. She is the sister of Paul Whelan who is imprisoned in
Russia. At the moment, her message to Russia is free her brother. We also heard from the U.S.-U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and she was
saying that they will not rest until both Whelan, as well as Evan Gershkovich are released from prison.
I want to take you, though, to the U.N. Security Council. We've got Antonio Guterres, currently addressing the people there. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: United Nations peacekeeping operations have helped societies move away from conflict, saving, perhaps,
millions of lives. Our disarmament and nonproliferation efforts have helped to confine nuclear weapons to a handful of states. And the United States
nations was central to the decolonization process and the independence of 80 former colonies to the members of the U.N.
We have helped to advance economic and social progress and contributed to reducing poverty and hunger, eradicating diseases, and building
recognition, the respect for fundamental human rights. The global humanitarian system, coordinated by the United Nations, saves millions of
lives each year. And multilateral solutions to global problems, from the ozone layer to the education of polio are tried, tested and proven to work.
None of this progress would have been possible without countries standing together as a multilateral human family. Which makes today's situation all
more dangerous. We face unprecedented and interlocking crisis, but the multilateral system is under the greatest strain than at any time since the
creation of the United Nations. Tensions between major powers are at an historic high, so are the risks of conflict, through misadventure or
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law is causing massive suffering and devastation to the
country and its people and adding to the global economic dislocation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsewhere, conflicts greened on from
Myanmar to the Sahel, from Somalia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond.
The situation in Sudan now threatens to destabilize the entire region. While there are some promising developments in Yemen and Libya, more than
100 million people have fled their homes to escape violence, conflict and persecution around the world.
Effective multilateral responses are urgently needed to prevent and resolve conflicts, manage economic uncertainty, rescue the sustainable development
goals, and address challenges to the global norms against the use and possession of nuclear weapons. We are witnessing a deepening climate
crisis, soaring inequalities, arising threat from terrorism, a global push back against human rights and gender equality, and the -- and regulated
development of dangerous technologies.
All these global challenges can only be solved to respect the international law, adherence to global commitments, and the adoption of appropriate
frameworks of multilateral governance. Mr. President, excellencies, as difficult as the past year has been, I am heartened that member states have
made progress in several crucial areas.
Abiding treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity was finalized. COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh achieved the breakthrough
in addressing loss and damage caused by climate change. The general assembly recognized human right to a clean Elsie (ph) and sustainable
environment. And these developments are important and their effects could be far reaching.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative and memoranda of understanding to facilitate the export of Russian food and fertilizers are compelling examples of the
significance of multilateral cooperation facilitated by the United Nations. And they clearly demonstrate that such cooperation is essential to create a
greater security and prosperity for all, and I urge their continued the implementation.
But we need to do better, go further, and work faster. That must start with countries recommitting to their obligations and the United Nations Charter.
Putting human rights and dignity first and prioritizing the prevention of conflicts and crisis. The principles enshrined the United Nations --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right. That is Secretary General Antonio Guterres. This is a U.N. Security Council meeting, which is actually chaired by Russia. Russian
Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, also expected to speak. I want to bring in CNN's Matthew Chance who's at the U.N. right now, and he joins us.
We've just heard from Antonio Guterres, but we are waiting to hear from Russia. Sergey Lavrov is going to be important. And we also have heard in
the lead up to the Security Council meeting that Russia is threatening to terminate the grain deal if the G7 bans exports to Russia. How significant
is this meeting today?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's pretty significant because it's the first time, as I understand it, for
some time that Sergey Lavrov has come to the United States, despite the fact that he is under sanctions. Much of the delegation or much of the --
many of the journalists that were meant to be traveling with him from Russia did not get their visas approved. And Sergey Lavrov has sharply
criticized that decision by the U.S., not to issue all of the visas that the Russian Federation requested. And he said that we do not forget, and we
do not forgive. And he, sort of, promised sort of unspecified consequences in response to that.
But, you know, look -- I mean, Russia is the president, at the moment, of the Security Council, it's a rotating mechanism. And throughout the course
of April, since it's held the presidency, Moscow has been using it as a platform to promote the kinds of narratives that it wants to promote, and
to emphasize issues that it wants to emphasize.
At the beginning of the month, it had a whole session on, for instance, the transfer of children from Ukraine to Russian territory. And the main
Russian official responsible for that came along and appeared by video conference as the keynote speaker. She is indicted by the International
Criminal Court and accused of, you know, basically child abduction by the ICC along with President Putin of Russia.
Earlier in the month, there was a conference about arms control in which the Russians accused the United States and other western powers of
abrogating their responsibilities to their treaties by flooding Ukraine with weapons. The U.S. had to point out that it was doing that simply
because trying to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.
And today, the session is about the U.N. Charter, it's about multilateralism, basically, about, you know, protecting the sovereignty of
countries recognized by the U.N., which is, you know, obviously ironic, given that Russia is a country that has launched a war against its
And so, there's a lot of criticism that Sergey Lavrov has been allowed into Russia, first of all, though the United States, of course, have a
responsibility to give him a visa under the U.N. agreements. And secondly, that Russia is the president of the Security Council at such a
GIOKOS: Yes, and there is quite a big dose of irony in terms of multilateralism being, sort of, the overriding theme here. We also heard
from the U.S.-U.N. Ambassador Greenfield, as well as, Paul Whelan's sister, Elizabeth Whelan. And she says, bring Paul home. The ambassador said that
one of the most important things they will not rest until Paul and Evan Gershkovich come home.
It is an important comment to make before the U.N. Security Council meeting. But you know, we've got to look at who's actually -- who yields
the power right now. Because it seems that Russia is, sort of, dangling the grain deal as, perhaps, a way to get what it wants. The U.S., obviously,
has a list of what it needs.
CHANCE: Well, I mean -- look, Russia has levers it can pull, clearly, and cooperation with the grain deal to allow Ukraine to export its food stuffs
for its own economy and also to help, sort of, global hunger is one of the levers that Russia is able to pull. It also, you know, has the chip, the
bargaining chip, if you like, of Evan Gershkovich, that "Wall Street Journal" reporter who was taken into custody. I think it was last month,
wasn't it? And accused of espionage, charges, by the way, that he and his paper both categorically deny.
What I'm not getting from Russian officials at the moment is whether there are going to be any bilateral meetings. Any one-on-one meetings between
Russian and American officials --
CHANCE: -- to try and negotiate --
GIOKOS: Matthew, we're going to interrupt you. We've got the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking. Let's listen in.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): -- by the size of contribution set the foundation for the postwar international
order. Its legal foundation became the charter of the United Nations and our organization, the embodiment of general genuine multilateralism gained
central coordinating role in international politics.
In the 80 years of its existence, the United Nations has delivered on key - - the key mission which was in two entrusted to it by the founding fathers. For several decades, the core mutual understanding of the five mutual -- of
the five permanent members of the Security Council on the supremacy of the goals and principles of the charter guaranteed global security. And thereby
created conditions for genuine multilateral cooperation governed by universally recognized norms of international law.
Now, the United Nations centered system is enduring a profound crisis. The root cause was the desire of some members of our organization to replace
international law and the United Nations Charter with a certain rules-based order. Nobody has seen these rules. They were not the subject of
transparent international negotiations.
They are devised, crafted and applied with the goal of countering the natural process of the establishment of new independent development
centers, which are the objective manifestation of multilateralism. There are attempts to deter them with the illegitimate unilateral measures. These
include barring access to modern technologies and financial services. They include expulsion from supply chains, confiscation of property, destruction
of critical infrastructure of competitors, and manipulation with universally agreed upon norms and procedures.
As a result, in global trade has become fragmented, market mechanisms have collapsed, the world trade organization has become paralyzed. And now,
clearly and openly, the International Monetary Fund has morphed into a tool for the achievement of the goals of the United States and their allies.
Including goals of a military nature in a desperate attempt to assert their domination by punishing their insubordinates.
The United States has taken the path of destroying globalization, which for many years they have taunted. They have raised up as the highest benefit of
all of human -- humanity. Advancing the multilateral system, global economic system. Washington and it's a western subordinates leverage those
rules every time they need to justify illegitimate attempts against those who base their policies in line with international law and those who
abandon the parochial interests of the global billion.
Their western colleagues have long found it inconvenient to reach agreement through universal formats. Such as the United Nations, for ideological
justified policy to undermine multilateralism in abandonment of democracy, encountering autocracy beyond the summit for democracy, where self-
proclaimed hegemon determines composition.
There are other clubs of select individuals are adopted. The summit for democracy, the alliance for multilateralism, the global partnership for
artificial interact, the global coalition for freedom of media, the Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace. All of these and other exclusive
projects have been devised to undermine negotiations on relevant themes under the aegis of the United Nations to impose those nonconsensual
concepts and decisions that are convenient for the west. And these are proposed as a position of the international community.
Let's call a spade a spade. Nobody allowed the western minority to speak on behalf of all of humankind. There is a need to be polite and to respect all
members of the International Community by imposing rules-based order. It sponsors arrogantly, reject a key principle of a charter of the United
Nations, namely, sovereign equality of states. The quintessential nature of the complex of superiority or exceptionalism was the lordly statement of
the head of the European Union head, Josep Borrell, stating that Europe is a heavenly garden and the rest of the world is jungle.
I would also quote the joint declaration of NATO, E.U. dating 10th, January 2023, which states, "The united west will leverage all economic, financial,
political." And I would note this, in particular, military instruments at the disposal of NATO and the use -- and the E.U. for the advancement of the
interests of our common billion. That is what the declaration states.
The collective quest has arrogantly reshaped for tailored processes of multilateralism at the regional level to -- for the advancement of their
interests. Just recently, the United States called for the Monroe Doctrine to be revived. Demanding that Latin-American countries limit ties with the
Russian Federation and People's Republic of China.
This policy, however, came up against the decisive focus of countries in the region to strengthen their own multilateral structures. First and
foremost, to select and to uphold their legitimate right to stand as a pillar of the multilateral world order. The Russian Federation fully
supports these justified aspirations.
Now, there have been significant forces in the United States and allies to undermine multilateralism in specific region. And of this cooperation
around economy and security has decades -- for decades been unfolding around ASEAN. This system allowed for consensual approaches to be
established which were beneficial to the 10 members -- the dozen members of ASEAN and their partners in dialogue, including Russia, China, the U.S.,
India, Japan, Australia, Republic of Korea, which provided for genuine inclusive multilateralism by advancing the Indo-Pacific strategy.
Washington has embraced a policy of destroying this established architecture. And during the last NATO summit in Madrid, there was an
assertion of all peace lovers and exclusion -- about the exclusively peaceful nature of their military programs. Announcing global
responsibility, indivisibility of security in the Euro-Atlantic in the so- called Indo-Pacific region. So now, the policy of NATO, as of course, the defensive organization is now moved to western shores of the Pacific Ocean.
The block-based approaches undermine the Asia centric mindsets, and they are manifested in the creation of an of a military alliance, AUKUS, which
has now embraced Tokyo as well and a number of ASEAN countries. Under the aegis of the U.S. mechanisms for intervention in maritime security issues
have been established to uphold the unilateral interests of west -- of the western. Mr. Borrell, as we mentioned, promised yesterday to send E.U.
military naval forces to that region.
It is not concealed that the goal of the Indo-Pacific strategy is to deter China and to isolate Russia. And this is how western colleagues view
effective multilateralism in the Asia Pacific region. After the collapse of the Warsaw Treaty organization and the Soviet Union departing from the
stage, a hope was fermented for the advancement of the principles of genuine, inclusive multilateralism in the Euro-Atlantic space.
But instead of tapping into the potential of the OSCE on equitable collective basis, western countries not only preserved NATO but contrary to
their pledges. They moved towards arrogantly absorbing spaces, including those territories where vital interests of the Russian Federation existed
and will always continue exists.
As was reported by the then-U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker to President George Bush, the elder, the main threat for NATO is the organization for
security and cooperation in Europe. And I would add that presently the United Nations and what is enshrined in its charter also represent a threat
to Washington's global ambitions.
Russia has painstakingly attempted to reach mutual and beneficial multilateral agreements, with an emphasis on the principle of
indivisibility of security, which was proclaimed and enshrined in outcome documents of the OSCE Summits of both 1999 and 2010. There, it states
explicitly, categorically, black and white that nobody is to strengthen one's own security at the expense of the security of others. And no state,
group of states, organization can be vested with primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace in the OSCE or consider any region of the OSCE
whatsoever as part of its sphere of influence.
NATO trampled upon these obligations, and the presidents and premiers -- premieres of its member states and did the opposite, proclaiming its right
to any arbitrary action. An egregious example is the unlawful bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, including with depleted uranium being used, which
resulted in an uptick in cancer cases, both for Serb citizens and NATO military personnel. Joe Biden was then a senator, and he, not without
pride, he said before the cameras (ph) that he personally called for the bombing of Belgrade and the destruction of all bridges on the Dnipro River.
And now the U.S. ambassador in Belgrade, Mr. Hill, through media outlets, has called on the Serbs to turn the page and to stop getting upset -- about
stopping getting upset.
The U.S. has gained a great deal of experience. Japan has been shamefully quiet about who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And as we know during the G7
Summit, Mr. Blinken, with great pathos, lamented the suffering of victims of the bombing. But he did not manage to mention the culpability of the
United States and these other rules.
And after the second world war, these are criminal misadventures of Washington, which were set into play. The shameful invasion by the U.S.-led
coalition into Iraq in 20 -- 2003 was an egregious violation of the United Nations Charter, as was the aggression against Libya in 2011. The result
was the destruction of statehood, hundreds of thousands of dead, rampant terrorism. A blatant violation of the U.N. Charter.
Also, was the U.S. intervention in post-Soviet states affairs. Color Revolutions were organized in Georgia. In Kyrgyzstan, there was a brutal
coup in Kyiv in 2014, and this also includes attempts to forcibly seize power in Belarus in 2020. The Anglo-Saxons, the west not only justify it or
attempt to justify these criminal misadventures, but they also taunt their policy of advancement of democracy. And the same has to do with the rules.
Kosovo still recognize independence without the referendum. The Crimea, they won't recognize it despite the fact that there was a referendum.
Falkland in Malvinas, they will not be touched for there was a -- the cleverly referendum there.
This is laughable. In order to abandon double standards, we call for all to adhere to consensual agreements, which were agreed upon through the 1970
U.N. declaration, the principles of international law. Explicitly proclaims the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states
who, "Respect the principle of equality and self-determination of peoples in which have governments which represent all the people residing on that
Any objective observer can clearly see that the Nazi-Kyiv regime can in no way be regarded as a representative -- as representing the residents of the
territory who refused to accept the results of the brutal coup in February 2014. And as a result of this, the putschists unleashed war against them
similarly. A preach (ph) cannot claim to represent the interests of Kosovo Serbs which were -- who were promised autonomy by European Union, just like
Berlin and Paris, promised special status for Donbas.
The results of these promises are well known. Our secretary general stated this eloquently during the second summit for democracy in 29 March. And I
quote, "Democracy emanates from the charter of the United Nations". And his first -- its first words, we the peoples reflect the fundamental source of
legitimate power. The consent of the governed. The consent, I emphasize this, in order to hold the war that was unleashed in the east of Ukraine.
Multilateral efforts were undertaken for the advancement of a peaceful settlement. And these were enshrined to Security Council resolution which
was which unanimously approved the Minsk agreements. These Minsk agreements were trampled upon by Kyiv and its western handlers, who themselves
recently, cynically, and even with pride recognize that they never intended to implement this. They simply wanted to gain time to funnel weapons into
Ukraine against Russia.
In this way, there was a public proclamation of a violation of multilateralism - multilateral obligation of all members of the United
Nations, which is enshrined in the charter, in which requires that all members comply with the resolutions of the Security Council. Our subsequent
action to prevent confrontation, including President Putin's proposal, dated December 2021, for the agreement to be reached on multilateral mutual
security guarantees were high handedly rejected. Nobody, we were told, can prevent NATO from embracing Ukraine.
For all of the years, after the coup, despite our insistence, nobody, none of Kyiv's handlers brought Poroshenko or Zelenskyy or the Ukrainian their
upper Rada to their census. Nobody brought them to their census in the upper Ukrainian Rada. Through legislation, the Russian language, Russian
education, Russian media outlets, and Russian culture, religious traditions were destroyed in a direct violation of the Ukrainian constitution. The
universal convention on the rights of national minorities, in parallel, the Kyiv regime through legislation and day to day live introduced Nazi
practice and theory without any concealment.
Openly, they organized in the center of Kyiv and other cities. Exuberant torch bearing marches with SS division banners upheld. The west remained
silent. And this was fully in line with U.S. plans to leverage their open - - the openly racist regime in the hope of weakening the Russian Federation in a strategic focus on eliminating competitors.
It is clear to all, even though not everybody talks about this, this is not at all about Ukraine. It's about how international relations will continue
to be shaped through the establishment of a sound consensus on the basis of balance of interests or through aggressive and volatile advancement of
Washington's hegemony. We cannot consider the Ukrainian issue separately from the geopolitical context. Multilateralism provides for respect for the
United Nations Charter and all of its interlinkage of its principles. And this was mentioned above.
The Russian Federation has clearly announced the goals which we are pursuing through the special military operation to eradicate the threats to
our security, which were created for years by NATO representatives directly on our borders. And to protect people who were -- have been deprived of the
rights proclaimed through multilateral conventions to protect them from the public statements of a Kyiv regime and their actions and direct threats to
destroy and expelling from territories where their predecessors lived for centuries.
What were the U.S. doing and NATO -- and the NATO doing in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, in Libya? Were there threats there to their security, their culture,
their religions, their languages? What were the multilateral norms that they guided them in their proclamations of the independence of Kosovo and
the violation of the principles of the OSCE to the destruction of the stable economic state -- economically stable states of Iraq and Libya which
collapsed, a result of their actions?
And the -- there are places were located thousands of miles from U.S. shores. There -- the multilateral system was a blatant attempt of U.S. --
of the U.S. And there is a clear imbalance in the U.N. secretariat and the U.N. as a whole. And this is now seen in the staff who are now taking
liberties with politically motivated conduct that is not befitting of international civil servants.
We urge the secretary general to ensure that all the its -- that all of his staff comply with impartiality in line with article 100 of the U.N.
Charter. We also urge the secretariat leadership in drafting documents on the common agenda which was mentioned here. The new agenda for peace which
is mentioned here to be guided by the need to suggest to member states ways to find a balance of interests rather than helping to advance neoliberal
Otherwise, instead of multilateral -- of a multilateral agenda, there will be a deepening of a division between the golden billion and the
international majority. Speaking of multilateralism, we cannot be limited to the international context as a whole, just when we talk about democracy,
the international context cannot be disregarded. Double standards need to be abandoned and multilateralism and democracy need to be respected within
states and win their relations to one another.
Everybody knows that the west, in imposing their understanding of democracy on others does not want to see democratization of international relations
on the basis of respect for sovereign equality of states. But now advancing their rules on the international arena, they're increasingly asphyxiating
multilateralism and democracy at home. Applying increasingly repressive tools for suppressing any dissent as their criminal Kyiv regime has done
with the support of its teachers.
The U.S. and allies, distinguished colleagues, as was the case in the cold war, we have reached a dangerous, possibly even more dangerous threshold.
The situation is worsened with the loss of trust of multilateralism. When the financial economic aggression of the west is destroying the benefits of
globalization. When the United States and its allies are abandoning diplomacy and demanding clarification of relations on the battlefield.
And this is all done in the halls of the United Nations which was created to prevent the horrors of war. The voices of wisdom are undermined. And
this -- they're calling for the revival of culture of dialogue, and they're muzzled by those who have decided to undermine the core principles of
We all need to return to the source. Respect for the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter in all their diversity and inter linkages.
Genuine multilateralism on the international stage at present necessitates adaptation of the United Nations to reflect the trends of the establishment
of multilateral architecture of international relations. There's a need to expedite reforms to Security Council to enhance representation of Asian,
African, Latin-American countries.
The current excessive, overwhelming representation of the west and its body undermines the principle of multilateralism, as well as an initiative of
the group of friends in protection of the U.N. Charter was established. We urge all states who are respecting the charter to join this. There is an
important need for -- until it happened. The potential of BRICS, SCO, Eurosec, SISC, STO. And of course, we are in favor of actively leveraging
the initiative and positions of regional associations of countries of the global south.
An important role in supporting multilateralism can be played by the G20 if western participants stop diverting the attention of colleagues from
pressing matters and turn a den (ph) matters on its agenda in their attempt to conceal their own culpability for the accumulation of crisis in the
global economy. Our common obligation is to preserve the United Nations as the tried and tested beacon for multilateralism and coordination of
international policies and politics.
The key to success is concerted efforts, abandonment of claims for any exceptionalism. And I repeat this once again, respect for sovereign
equality of states. This is what we all signed onto when we ratified the charter of the United Nations.
In 2021, President Putin, proposed the establishment of a summit. And the summit to convene to -- for permanent members of the Security Council. The
leaders of China and France supported this initiative. However, unfortunately, this was not realized this is directly related to
multilateralism. Not because the five permanent members have certain privileges, as compared to the others, but specifically due to their
particular responsibility under the charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.
And this is specifically what is required now under the imperatives of the U.N. centric system, which, as a result, of the actions of the west is
evaporating before our very eyes. Concerns about the situation are increasingly prevalent in the multilateral initiatives and ideas of global
south countries from the east -- from east, Southeast Asia, from the Arab, Muslim world as a general, and Africa, Latin-America. We value their
intention to focus on considered efforts for the maintenance of a balance of interest on the basis of the sovereign equality of states and
indivisibility of security.
And to conclude, I wish to turn to all journalists who are now covering today's meeting, your colleagues from Russian media outlets were not
allowed access here. The United States mission embassy in Moscow mockingly announced willingness to issue visas. When our plane took off, so I
request, insist that you compensate for the law -- of the loss of the presence of Russian journalists.
Try to make your reporting objective to so that the International Community has a genuinely multilateral objective overview in your assessments, and
the facts provided return. I now return to my duties as the president of Security Council and I give the floor to Mr. Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar,
minister of state of the United Arab Emirates.
GIOKOS: All right. We have just heard from Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, at the U.N. Security Council meeting. I still have Matthew
Chance with me who is at the U.N.
Matthew, it was a very loaded speech. His address started by saying that the U.N. system is enduring a profound crisis. And frankly, pointing the
finger squarely at the United States. I mean, it's lines that we've often heard before. But I want you to take me through something, anything that
sort of stood out for you that is notable in terms of way to from here.
CHANCE: Well, I mean, you're right. It was a catalog of the complaints and grievances that we've heard time and again from Moscow when it comes to,
you know, the actions of the United States and the collective west in the world, which often sees as being in opposition to its own interests. Lavrov
said, no one allowed the western minority to speak on behalf of all mankind. And he went right away back to the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia,
which is you may remember it was as a result of the ethnic cleansing that was taking place in the then-Serbian Republic of Kosovo. And to, sort of,
like, force Slobodan Milosevic to relent on that issue that that NATO bombardment took place.
He talked about how the west had basically supported Color Revolutions, as he calls them, in former Soviet states like Georgia, like Ukraine, and in
places like Belarus. All places, he said, where NATO had arrogantly attempted to absorb places where the Russian -- whether are Russian vital
Again, we've heard this again and again from the Russians over the course of several years now. And that rhetoric has been stepped up, particularly
over the course of the past 12 months or so since the invasion of Ukraine took place as Russia tries to cast its war in Ukraine as a defense against
a, sort of, western plot to break it up and to destroy it. But nowhere, Eleni, in this, sort of, lament, the destruction of multilateralism is
there a, sort of, admission that Russia has launched a war, essentially, of choice against its neighbor in Ukrainian. It continues to conduct that war
GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, it was really illuminating. As you say, it was a catalog. It was almost like a balance sheet from the Russian perspective on
the U.S. Saying that they are destroying globalization, that global trade is fragmented because of the United States.
It was interesting at one point, he says, is urging for a common agenda for peace to suggest ways to find a balance of interests. And then he starts
talking about, you know, the global south. Bringing in other bodies. And he's done this insinuation before that the U.S., the west, seemed to have a
far stronger voice globally and basically asphyxiate, that's the word he used, or crowd out other voices.
CHANCE: Yes, and of course, you know, Russia has some support in the global south. In many sub-Saharan African countries, in China, in India, in
South Africa, in Brazil. These are all countries that are, you know, relatively sympathetic, I think, to Russia's geopolitical stance in the
world. But when it comes to the Ukraine crisis and the conflict there, I mean, the Ukrainians have made it quite clear that they're not prepared to
countenance a peace agreement while Russia still occupies Ukrainian land.
And at the moment, the western powers are standing behind Ukraine's position. But nevertheless, this is a great platform for the Russians to
issue that call for multilateralism. And they've been using this presidency of the Security Council to, sort of, launch tirades about their narratives
on several occasions over the course of this month, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, you're so right. And in a way -- many ways, deflecting in terms of what they need to be focusing on and I think what the world needs
to hear in terms of what they're doing in Ukraine. Matthew Chance, great to have you on the story. Thank you so very much for breaking that down for
We are going to take you to a very short break. We'll be keeping a very close watch on the U.N. Security Council meeting that is currently underway
in New York. Stay with CNN.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos and you're watching "Connect the World".
A closely watched Security Council meeting is currently underway at the United Nations. It's been chaired by the Russian foreign minister. We just
heard from Sergey Lavrov and we'll be keeping a close watch on all the on goings at the U.N. Security Council meeting.
Meanwhile, there is outrage and concern in the E.U. after a top Chinese diplomat questioned the sovereignty of former Soviet Republics. China's
ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, says, the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union don't have effective status in international law. It was a
key topic at today's meeting of European Union foreign ministers.
We've got CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson live for us in Hong Kong. Ivan great to have you on. I want you to give me a sense if
there's been any, sort of, official reactions from China about these comments which are quite important in the geopolitical context that is
currently playing out.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. I mean, this does appear to be a case of the Wolf warrior diplomacy that has risen up in
the era of Xi Jinping's China seems to have gone too far. It's set up a diplomatic firestorm in Europe when this Chinese ambassador to France
basically questioned the legitimacy of former Soviet Republics in this French television interview.
The Chinese embassy to France has since put out a statement on Monday, saying, "Ambassador Lu Shaye's remarks on the question of Ukraine were not
a statement of policy, but an expression of his personal opinion. They should not be the subject of over impersonation. China -- interpretation.
China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries."
The statement goes on to say that China wants to play a role as a mediator, getting a political settlement in Russia's ongoing invasion and occupation
of Ukraine. But it seems that the Chinese diplomat statements have already done some damage.
The governments of three former Soviet Republics, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have all said that they're calling in Chinese officials to help
clarify what this Chinese ambassador meant. The China -- the Lithuanian foreign minister has gone out and said that his government does not trust
China to negotiate some kind of a settlement in Russia's war in Ukraine. Take a listen to what else he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: This is a narrative that we've been hearing from Moscow. And now, it's being -- it's sent out
by another by another country which is, in our eyes, an ally of Moscow in many cases. If not military, then politically at least, and sending the
same messages. Questioning of, you know, the whole concept of independence of sovereignty which is very dangerous in these days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: The European Union's foreign policy chief called these remarks by the Chinese ambassador unacceptable. The foreign ministry of Moldova said
that they were surprised and they wanted clarification as well. And part of this goes to real suspicion about where China stands in this war, which
some European countries view as a threat to their national security.
Beijing claims to be neutral. But Xi Jinping just continues to hold meetings face to face with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and
talking about expanding a friendship between Beijing and Moscow that it says has no limits. Eleni.
GIOKOS: Ivan Watson, thank you so much. Great to have you on.
Well, we've got some breaking news out of Israel. Five people were injured in a car ramming incident which police are now calling a terror attack. It
happened near a popular market in central Jerusalem. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now live from Jerusalem from the very latest developments.
Hadas, there are reports of at least seven ambulances at the scene. What more can you tell us?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, what we're hearing from Israeli police and Israeli prime ministers, they are calling this a terror
attack. Now, this took place at the intersection behind me. Police have already actually moved the car that they say was used in this attack and
have completely cleared the scene. This is something that Israeli authorities often do is to clear the scene and get life back to normal as
quickly as possible.
But from what we understand about two hours ago, a car rammed into pedestrians crossing this intersection. We are right next to the Machane
Yehuda market, one of the most popular markets in Jerusalem, not only for locals but for tourists alike. And this was likely a very busy time.
From what we understand, at least five people were injured. They were hit by the car. One of them was seriously injured. They've all been moved to a
hospital in varying conditions. And Israeli police say that a civilian who happened to be armed on the scene shot and killed the driver. We do not yet
know from authorities anything about the identity of the driver or where this person may have come from or their ages. But what we do know is that
the Israeli police and the prime minister are calling this a terror attack.
Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was actually not far from here when this took place at a memorial service for Israeli soldiers because starting
tonight and tomorrow, it is Memorial Day here in Israel. And he said the following, he called it a terror attack. And said, this reminds us that the
land of Israel and the state of Israel are required through many trials and tribulations.
When we came on the scene, we saw many, many ambulances. We also saw the car that was allegedly used. We saw they had at least two windows, one of
its side windows and a back window completely shot out. And we actually even saw the body of what appears to have been the driver being covered up
by authorities and being loaded up into an ambulance.
As we've been reporting, of course, for several months now, it's been a very tense period, especially here in Jerusalem in the last few weeks. And
clearly the situation, and the tension, and the violence flaring has not -- does not seem to be abating. It just -- will not seem to be abating anytime
GIOKOS: All right. Hadas Gold, thank you very much for that update.
We're going to take you to a very short break. When we come back, we'll bring you more updates from the U.N. Security Council meeting that's
currently underway and we'll bring you the headlines. Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is "Connect the World."
GIOKOS: This hour, evacuations continue in Sudan as the situation on the ground becomes more desperate. But first, your headlines at this hour.
Russia's top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, is chairing the U.N. Security Council meeting at this hour.