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Newsline: Western envoys, allies walk out on Russian Foreign Minister speech to UN rights forum

More than 100 diplomats from some 40 Western countries and allies including Japan walked out of a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the top U.N. human rights forum on Tuesday in protest over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 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 U.N. 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. (https://news.yahoo.com/eu-us-british-envoys-boycott-104429935.html) 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.

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