It wasn’t very diplomatic ― but it was effective.
More than 100 U.S. and European diplomats stood up and marched out of the room on Tuesday when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov began speaking at a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in the middle of his country’s attacks on Ukraine:
Lavrov spoke via prerecorded video, saying flight restrictions against Russian aircraft kept him from attending the event in Geneva in person.
He also blamed Ukraine for the war.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, one of the leaders of the walkout, later told The Associated Press that Lavrov’s claims were “false.”
“That’s why we wanted to show a very strong stance together today,” she told the news agency.
The walkout was in sharp contrast to the reception given the same day to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who received a standing ovation when he addressed the parliament of the European Union, also via video.
He has applied for Ukraine to join the EU.