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Glimpses: Lavrov’s rapid entry and exit at the United Nations

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After days of speeches by world leaders subtly and not-so-subtly criticizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine during the annual UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov entered

UNITED NATIONS — As if there wasn’t enough tension.

After days of speeches by world leaders subtly and not-so-subtly criticizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine during the annual UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stepped in to address the Security Council on Thursday.

He arrived just minutes before he was due to speak, missing earlier comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticizing Moscow for what the American described as war crimes and other atrocities.

And then it was Lavrov’s turn to ring, and he did for several minutes, repeating his country’s frequent claims that Kyiv has long oppressed Russian-speakers and that Western support for Ukraine is a threat to Moscow. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba watched.

In that brief moment, the world saw something rare: the top diplomats of two nations at war in the same room.

They didn’t talk to each other, but threw spikes, or passed, at each other. Kuleba even joked before the meeting that he would keep “social distance.”

Lavrov said US policy toward the government of Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy was based on the logic that “he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.” Kuleba rebuked Russia afterward for the “inappropriate jargon.”

And then the moment ended as quickly as it began. As soon as Lavrov finished speaking, he was gone in an instant.

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For more AP coverage of the UN General Assembly, visit

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