For a long time, Russia tried to stop the Security Council’s debate on Ukraine.
When the United States demanded a public debate on Russia’s 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, the Russians said no. They did not want the UN Security Council to debate what Ukraine and NATO perceive as a direct threat of invasion.
Russia received only support from China on Monday. Three countries abstained, while ten countries wanted the debate, reports Reuters.
The Russians claimed that the meeting was an example of US “speaker diplomacy”.
China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun defended his voice by saying that there is now a need for “quiet diplomacy”.
Norway’s UN Ambassador Mona Juul chaired the meeting.
The meeting was marked by strong accusations from both sides in the conflict.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassili Nebenzia went hard. He blamed the growing tensions on the West and the United States. Nebenzia claims that the United States “whips up hysteria”. At the same time, he flatly denied that Russia has plans to attack the neighboring country.
The Russians believe that Western rhetoric creates an unnecessary conflict between Ukraine and Russia, writes The New York Times.
The ambassador warned against trusting the Americans’ arguments. He recalled how then-Secretary of State Colin Powell argued for an attack on Iraq. In retrospect, we know that the “evidence” that the Iraqis had chemical weapons did not exist, he argued.
Threats to member states
The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, denied the allegations. She does not want the western countries to whip up the mood. Instead, she recalled all the attempts that have been made to quell the conflict.
– This is not about rhetoric. It’s not about the United States and Russia. What this is about is peace and security for a member state, she said.
New phase in the war
When Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya spoke, he thanked Juul and Norway for holding the meeting.
– It is a need and a duty for the Security Council to be informed, he said about what he perceives as a direct threat of war.
He noted that the Russians claim they do not want to invade Ukraine. For the Ukrainians, it is rather a question of whether the Russians will start a new phase in the war against Ukraine, he said.
Russia’s Nebenzia, on the other hand, said he could not understand the threats and provocations the United States was talking about. As he and President Vladimir Putin see it, it is the United States and NATO that are creating insecurity in the region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also complained that harsh American rhetoric creates unnecessary fear.
Threatens the capital
At the meeting, the United States also claimed that the Russians have plans to increase their military presence in Belarus from around 5,000 to 30,000 soldiers. Belarus has a close relationship with its Russian neighbor and also borders Ukraine.
Forces deployed in Belarus will be less than two hours away from the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. According to the Russian news agency Tass The Americans are interested in discussing Russia’s latest move in the conflict.
So far, there is no indication that the two top diplomats will meet physically.