More than 150 leaders around the world have come together this week to discuss concerns in their countries at the United Nations General Assembly. While food shortages, fuel prices, and climate change have been touched on, the focus has remained largely on Russia.
As we enter day two of the UN General Assembly, President Joe Biden intends to make America’s stance on the war in Ukraine clear. He is set to give a speech Wednesday looking to rally U.S. allies behind Ukraine. The invasion is likely to stay at the forefront of the conversation among world leaders because they place much of the blame for rising gas prices and skyrocketing inflation felt around the world at Russia’s feet.
As the summit is happening, Russian President Vladimir Putin is advancing his threats. In a recorded speech to Russia on Wednesday, Putin said he will mobilize more troops. Officials say that’s likely 300,000 more soldiers. This week, Russia also announced they will start voting to annex portions of Ukraine currently controlled by Russia. The U.S. said the referendums would not be recognized.
“If these referenda proceed and if Russia purports to annex Ukrainian territory, the United States will never, never recognize it,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “Here this week at the United Nations, it would be important for other countries, anyone who supports and purports to defend the U.N. Charter to make that clear as well.”
In addition to Biden’s speech on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will provide a prerecorded speech at the U.N. General Assembly.