Russia asks Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters to speak on Ukraine at the United Nations
Written by ABR on 08/02/2023
Russia has asked Roger Waters to speak to the United Nations Security Council about the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.
Waters’ appearance at the UN today (February 8) was requested by Moscow, according to Reuters, and would mark one of dozens of meetings the Security Council has conducted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February. Today’s Security Council meeting was requested by Russia to discuss “the prospects for the peaceful settlement of the crisis around Ukraine in the context of the increasing supplies of Western armaments”, according to independent thinktank Security Council Report.
According to Reuters, the invitation to the Pink Floyd co-founder was met with mockery by UN diplomats, with an anonymous Security Council member saying: “Russian diplomacy used to be serious. What next? Mr. Bean?”
Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reportedly urged diplomats to “see what [Waters] will say. He has a position and you will hear it tomorrow.” Nebenzia jokingly added: “Perhaps he will sing to us, too.”
Russia’s request that Waters address the UN follows an open letter the musician addressed to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska in September, in which he weighed in on the Western supply of weapons to Ukraine. Responding to Zelenska’s calls for “strong” support from the West, Waters wrote: “If by ‘support for Ukraine’ you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken. Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight… won’t work”.
More recently, Waters broached the topic of the Russia-Ukraine conflict during an interview with the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. The frontman again reiterated his long-held criticisms of the role of the United States and President Joe Biden in the conflict, saying America was “the main aggressor” and that the war was “provoked beyond all measure”.
Elsewhere in the Berliner Zeitung interview, Waters denounced the Ukraine charity single ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’, released by his former Pink Floyd bandmates last year. “It encourages the continuation of the war,” Water said of the song, which featured Ukrainian musician Andriy Khlyvnyuk and raised funds for humanitarian charities. “To associate [Pink Floyd] now with something like this… proxy war makes me sad.”
The interview drew criticism from Waters’ former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour earlier this week. Gilmour’s wife, author Polly Samson, shared a tweet branding Waters as “a Putin apologist”, calling him a “lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac.” Glimour later re-shared the tweet with the caption: “every word [is] demonstrably true”.
Waters himself issued a statement in response to Samson’s comments, saying he “refutes [them] entirely” and that they are “incendiary and wildly inaccurate”. The musician said he is “taking advice as to his position” regarding Samson’s claims. NME has contacted Waters’ spokespeople for further comment.
Last October, Waters spoke to Rolling Stone about his belief that he is on a “kill list” of enemies of Ukraine. “I’m on the fucking list, and they’ve killed people recently… But when they kill you, they write ‘liquidated’ across your picture. Well, I’m one of those fucking pictures,” Waters said.
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