Russia Says U.N. Security Council Meeting Is Just a U.S. Stunt

Russia on Friday denounced a planned UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine as a “clear publicity stunt” orchestrated by the United States, and signaled Moscow’s intention to derail it. US officials said they were confident the meeting, which was to be broadcast live on Monday, would go ahead.

The meeting of the Security Council, the most powerful body of the UN, was requested by the United States in response to the reinforcement of Russian military forces along Ukraine’s borders.

The Americans and their NATO and Western allies see the buildup as a prelude to a possible invasion, which they call a violation of fundamental UN principles that have averted major global armed conflicts for more than seven decades.

Russia has said it has no intention of invading Ukraine but wants promises that its neighbor will never join NATO and that the Western alliance will withdraw forces from Eastern Europe, what the Russians call a threat to their own security.

Russia’s objection to the meeting of the Security Council came from Dmitry Polyanskiy, its deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, who, in a Posting on Twitter ridiculed the idea, which was announced Thursday by US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“I can’t recall another occasion when a SC member offered to discuss his own baseless allegations and assumptions as a threat to international order from someone else,” he said. he writes. “Let’s hope that other members of the UNSC will not support this clear publicity stunt shameful for the reputation of the UN Security Council.”

As one of five permanent members of the 15-nation council, Russia enjoys veto power over its decisions, making it almost certain that the body will take no action on the dispute. But permanent members cannot veto the scheduling of meetings, which would require a majority of nine votes.

Senior Biden administration officials, speaking by conference call with reporters on condition of anonymity, said they were confident Russia did not have the votes to derail the meeting.

“We’re confident there’s broad support across the board for this meeting,” one of the officials said, “more than enough support to have this conversation.”

Another described the meeting as “a really important opportunity for all the powers in the world to say publicly whether they see a path to diplomacy or a path to conflict.”

Although there is no expectation of formal action to criticize Russia’s behavior, an open debate in the Security Council, broadcast live on the United Nations website, could potentially expose Russia to isolation. embarrassing.

Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement Thursday that the United States, in consultation with other unspecified members of the council and with Ukraine, had requested the meeting “to discuss a matter of critical importance to International Peace and Security: The Threatening Behavior of Russia”. against Ukraine and the reinforcement of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine and in Belarus.

The members of the Security Council, the ambassador said, “must carefully examine the facts and consider what is at stake for Ukraine, for Russia, for Europe and for the fundamental obligations and principles of the order international if Russia invades Ukraine further”.

“This is not a time to wait and see,” she said.

Russia has repeatedly criticized the United States and its allies for its portrayal of the Ukraine crisis as Russian malice.

“The United States cultivates Russophobia among its people and the people of like-minded states continue to talk about Russian troop buildup as almost the root cause of all problems,” the Russian mission said. the UN in a statement on its website earlier this week. . “Yet in saying this, the United States forgets to mention that these are Russian forces deployed on Russian territory. This contrasts with the US and NATO arms and countless advisers that swarm Ukraine and other states near Russia’s borders.

China, a permanent member and Russia’s ally on the council, called on Western nations to listen to Russia’s concerns. But China was also expected to call for dialogue and diplomacy during Monday’s debate. The other permanent members are the United States and its NATO allies, Britain and France.

The non-permanent members of the council are also expected to advocate for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis. They are: Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.