Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has questioned why the United Nations has allowed Russia’s Sergei Lavrov to attend the world body as the Kremlin continues its assault on his nation.
While touring a hospital in New York, where Ukrainian soldiers are having their maladies tended to as the invasion by Russian forces still rages on, Mr Zelensky said the body of world leaders should answer for their decision to allow Russia’s minister of foreign affairs to attend.
Mr Zelensky said: “For us, it’s very important that all our words, all our messages, will be heard by our partners.
“And if in the United Nations still — it’s a pity, but still — there is a place for Russian terrorists, the question is not to me.”
He added: “I think it’s a question to all the members of the United Nations.”
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian president will address world leaders at the UN General Assembly.
He will also speak about the war in Ukraine on Wednesday at a UN Security Council meeting.
Russia is a permanent, veto-wielding council member, and Mr Lavrov is expected to make remarks at the meeting.
When Mr Zelensky was asked if he would stay in the room to listen to what Mr Lavrov had to say, he said: “I don’t know how it will be, really.”
Mr Zelensky is in the United States to appeal to politicans and US President Joe Biden to continue their support in financing Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion, a war that is now in its 19th month.
After what looks to be a heavy few days with the UN, Mr Zelensky is scheduled to spend some time on Capitol Hill on Thursday and meet with Mr Biden at the White House.