Status: 01/31/2022 8:31 p.m
Until recently, Moscow had tried to prevent the UN Security Council from discussing the Ukraine conflict – without success. This was followed by a violent exchange of blows between Russia and the USA.
Despite Russia’s resolute resistance, the UN Security Council held a public session in New York to discuss the Ukraine crisis. A request by Moscow to cancel the meeting requested by the USA was rejected – ten of the 15 members of the Security Council voted for the meeting.
At the start of the UN session, US President Joe Biden again called on Russia to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict. If Russia decides “to step out of diplomacy and attack Ukraine, it will bear the responsibility and face quick and serious consequences,” he warned.
Russia: US “stokes up hysteria”
On the other hand, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebensya accused the United States of wanting to “foment hysteria” with the public session of the Security Council. The United States wanted to “deceive the international community” with “unfounded allegations,” said Nebensya. The US had requested the meeting because the West feared a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine poses a “threat to international security” and warrants public debate. After all, it was the “largest mobilization of troops in Europe for decades”. Washington demands the withdrawal of the soldiers from the border into the hinterland.
Nebensya denied that 100,000 soldiers had actually been massed at the border. On what basis can the West claim this, the Russian diplomat asked. In order to justify an invasion of Iraq in 2003, the USA presented alleged evidence of weapons of mass destruction, which later turned out to be false.
USA: Evidence of troop transfers to Belarus
Thomas-Greenfield also accused Moscow of planning a significant increase in its troops in Belarus near the Ukrainian border. Around 5,000 Russian soldiers are currently stationed there. “We have seen evidence that Russia intends to expand this presence to more than 30,000 troops” by early February, the US ambassador said.
By contrast, Nebensia and his Belarusian colleague Valentin Rybakov justified the troop deployment with “joint military exercises” planned for February, which are taking place regularly. In addition, the discussions about an imminent threat of war are “in and of themselves provocative. They almost call for it. They want it to happen.” The West spreads propaganda and operates “megaphone diplomacy”.
US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield dismissed the accusations made by her Russian colleague: “Threats of aggression on the Ukrainian border – yes, on the border – are provocative. Our acknowledgment of the facts on the ground is not provocative.” These are combat units “ready to carry out offensive actions in Ukraine.”
Ukraine: Ceasefire in Donbass is “priority”
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergey Kyslytsia stressed at the UN session that a ceasefire in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine was “priority”. Moscow has still not provided any credible explanations for its military actions. At this meeting, too, there was no explanation from Russia – UN Ambassador Nebensia left the meeting before Kyslytsia could speak.
The two other veto powers Great Britain and France called on Russia to de-escalate. Paris continues to rely on diplomatic negotiations in the so-called Normandy format with Germany, Russia and Ukraine, said UN Ambassador Nicholas de Reviere. “However, if Russia does not take the path of dialogue, then the answer will come quickly and clearly.” The European allies are ready.
However, should Russia focus on cooperation and dialogue, then the Europeans want to tackle this together. There has not yet been a breakthrough in the consultations between Ukraine and Russia, which are moderated by Germany and France. Talks are scheduled to continue in Berlin in February.