1 of 3 | On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov faced harsh criticism from fellow United Nations ambassadors in New York before delivering a speech as head of the U.N. Security Council (as he did in 2021, pictured). File Photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License Photo
April 24 (UPI) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov faced harsh criticism from fellow United Nations ambassadors in New York Monday before delivering a speech as temporary head of the U.N. Security Council.
"Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded its neighbor, Ukraine, and struck at the heart of the U.N. Charter," Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said during her time addressing the body Monday.
"This illegal, unprovoked and unnecessary war runs directly counter to our most shared principles -- that a war of aggression and territorial conquest is never, ever acceptable," she said.
Ambassadors from Switzerland and Britain also slammed Lavrov over Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
"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," U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said during the meeting, which was convened by Lavrov.
Lavrov flew from Moscow to chair the meeting, which was meant to emphasize the importance of defending the UN Charter.
Elizabeth Whelan, the sister of former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan attended Monday's meeting.
Paul Whelan has been imprisoned in Russia for more than four years. The U.S. State Department has declared him "wrongfully detained."
Elizabeth Whelan did not speak to reporters Monday. She has been a public advocate for her brother's release.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden have both said securing Whelan's freedom is a top priority.
Russia took over as head of the U.N. Security Council on April 1. Ukrainian officials called the move "a bad joke" at the time.
The position rotates in alphabetical order through the council's members every month. Russia is one of the council's five permanent members, as is the United States, China, France, and Britain.
Russia last headed the council in February 2022, as it was poised to invade Ukraine.