During Monday’s Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield questioned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was condemned by the ambassador. She also demanded the immediate release of American citizens Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, who were jailed in Russia despite the White House’s claims that they were falsely accused of spying.
Thomas-Greenfield revealed to Lavrov in their discussion that the Kremlin’s primary objective is to redraw international borders by means of violence. She said that this is a flagrant assault on the principles upheld by the United Nations and called for their immediate revocation. She also mentioned the examples of the Wall Street Journal writer and the ex-marine to demonstrate that Russia had broken international law.
In what many analysts have pointed to as yet another evidence of the UN’s inefficiency, the US ambassador made these comments while Lavrov presided over the Security Council meeting. Until the final week of April, Russia will be presiding as rotating president of the council.
Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan, was in the audience for the Security Council meeting, and Thomas-Greenfield made sure the Russian foreign minister saw her. During their meeting, the US ambassador told Lavrov that she wanted him to see how much Elizabeth’s suffering had been compounded by the fact that she had not been able to see her brother in four years and that she knew he was “locked up” in a Russian prison because “you want to use him for your own means.” She pleaded with Lavrov for the quick release of both him and Gershkovich, the first American reporter to be held in Russia since the end of the Cold War.
Elizabeth Whelan, who spoke to reporters beside Thomas-Greenfield, stated that she hasn’t seen Paul in so long that she has no idea what he looks like. According to her, Russian officials have forbidden anybody from taking photographs of him. She also blasted the Kremlin for continuing to hold unjustly imprisoned American citizens.