Calling for de-escalation of tensions along the borders between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the United Nations political affairs chief told the Security Council today that any military intervention by one country in another would be against international law and the Charter of the United Nations, as Moscow denied any intention of launching a war on that neighbouring State. […]
Today’s meeting was requested by the United States, whose representative argued that the Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s borders constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The Russian Federation’s delegate strongly opposed holding the meeting, saying that positioning troops within its territory is a domestic matter, not a threat to global stability.
The Council then put the matter to a vote, in which 10 Council members supported the holding of the meeting, defeating votes in opposition cast by the Russian Federation and China. Gabon, India and Kenya abstained.
In the ensuing discussion, the representative of the United States warned that the Russian Federation’s current actions threaten not only Ukraine but also Europe more broadly. “Our charge is not only to address conflicts after they occur, but to prevent them from happening in the first place,” she said. Moscow also plans to bring additional troops and weapons into Belarus in the coming weeks, close to the border with Ukraine. “This is an escalation and a pattern of aggression that we’ve seen from [the Russian Federation] again and again,” she said, citing past incursions into Crimea, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and other parts of Ukraine.
In a rebuttal, the Russian Federation’s delegate said troops have been deployed inside his country on various occasions before without the hysterics currently being witnessed. Rejecting accusations that Moscow intends to attack Ukraine, he said while Western countries claim to be trying to ease tensions, they are instead whipping up panic. Today’s meeting is especially ironic as the United States holds the world record for troop deployments outside its borders and its military adventures have killed hundreds of thousands around the globe.
Kenya’s representative said his delegation abstained on the procedural vote, as the impasse between NATO and the Russian Federation is “imminently solvable”, with the diplomatic steps under way already showing promise. Where there are disputes over territorial jurisdiction or security interests, “we strongly support patient diplomacy as the first, second and third option”, he affirmed. The United States, NATO and the Russian Federation have an opportunity to establish a diplomatic framework that will allow them to resolve their differences.
France’s delegate said the priority is to achieve a rapid de-escalation of the tense situation, as demonstrated in recent talks by the Normandy Four and in today’s Council meeting. If Moscow refuses to pursue the path of dialogue and respect for international law, the response will be robust and united, carrying severe costs. However, the European Union stands ready to engage if Moscow chooses dialogue and cooperation.
China’s representative said that the claim by the United States that this will lead to war is unfounded, given the Russian Federation’s declaration that it has no plans to launch military action. All parties should continue to resolve their differences through dialogue, he said, adding that several Council members agreed that the situation called for “quiet diplomacy, not microphone diplomacy”. Läs artikel