At the request of the United States, the United Nations Security Council will meet for the first time on Monday to discuss Russia’s troop buildup and threatening actions against Ukraine, and all key players are expected to square off in public over the possibility of a Russian invasion and its global impact.
Russia’s activities, according to US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, are a “obvious danger to world peace and security as well as the United Nations Charter.”
In announcing the meeting on Thursday, she said the members of the Council “must openly assess the facts and decide what is at risk for Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the key commitments and values of the international order should Russia continue to attack Ukraine.”
“I can’t recall any time when a SC (Security Council) member sought to debate its own false claims and assumptions as a danger to intl (international) order from someone else,” Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky tweeted. Hopefully, fellow UNSC members will not accept this obvious PR attempt that is damaging to the UN Security Council’s credibility.”
According to Polyansky’s reply, Russia may begin the conference by requesting a procedural vote on whether it should proceed. Russia would require the approval of nine of the 15 members to prevent the summit from taking place.
The US is in constant touch with council members, according to a senior Biden administration official, and is “confident” that there is “more than adequate support” to convene the meeting.
“It gets directly to the core of the Security Council’s duty,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to comment publicly. “I believe member states recognize that this preventative diplomacy is exactly what the council is meant to be doing.”
The massing of an estimated 100,000 Russian troops along Ukraine’s border has prompted increasingly harsh warnings from the West that Moscow is planning an invasion. Russia is asking that NATO guarantee that Ukraine will never be admitted to the alliance, that NATO armaments will not be deployed near Russian borders, and that NATO soldiers will withdraw from Eastern Europe. These demands are deemed unachievable by NATO and the US.
If the meeting goes forward, a senior United Nations official will provide a briefing, followed by remarks from the council’s 15 members, which include Russia, the United States, and European members France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Albania. Ukraine will speak as well, according to council norms.
China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun, whose nation has strong relations to Russia, has stated that Beijing supports Moscow’s opposition to the council meeting.
On Friday, he told multiple reporters that “both parties have indicated desire to continue their conversations.” “Let them work out their disagreements via discussion and negotiation.”
“Russia has stated clearly that they do not want to go to war,” Zhang said, adding that the Security Council should “assist to deescalate the situation rather than throwing gasoline to the fire.”
Nikolai Patrushev, the director of Russia’s Security Council, dismissed Western threats of an invasion on Sunday.
“At the moment, they’re claiming that Russia is threatening Ukraine – it’s utterly ludicrous,” he said, according to official news agency Tass. “We don’t want war, and we certainly don’t require it.”
“We’re going into the room prepared to listen to them, but we’re not going to be sidetracked by their propaganda,” Thomas-Greenfield said of the US and the other council members on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Ireland’s U.N. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, whose nation is serving a two-year term on the council, said, “This is a moment when we want to see calm.” “Deescalation, diplomacy, and conversation are what we want to see.” In light of the current set of circumstances, that’s what we choose.”