CAMEROON – Russian President Vladimir Putin did not receive support from members of the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting on Monday night for his actions to transfer separatists in eastern Ukraine to Moscow’s control.
The United States called his moves a reason for further invasion, many members condemned the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and even a close ally of China called for diplomacy and a peaceful solution.
Ukraine has called for a rare evening session with the United States, five European countries and Mexico to condemn Putin’s actions earlier Monday in recognizing the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist regions, the eight-year war scene and ordering its troops to “keep the peace there.”
Coincidentally, Russia is chairing the Security Council this month and wanted the meeting closed, but diplomats said they agreed to an open meeting under strong pressure from the West and other members.
Linda Thomas Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, dismissed as “nonsense” Putin’s statement that Russian troops would be in a separatist zone known as Donbass as peacekeepers, saying their presence was “a clear basis for Russia’s attempt.” create a basis for further invasion of Ukraine. ” She said he had given the world a choice and he “shouldn’t take his eyes off it” because “history tells us that looking the other way in the face of such hostility would be far more costly”.
Putin is trying to see “how far he can push us all,” and all countries must uphold the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and all countries, Thomas Greenfield said.
France’s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, said Russia was “choosing a path of challenge and confrontation, despite relentless efforts to de-escalate in recent weeks and days”, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“We will continue these efforts and call on Russia to reconcile its words with the case if it claims to be in favor of dialogue and to repeal the decision to recognize the separatist entities,” he said.
British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said there were reports of Russian troops and tanks entering Donetsk and Luhansk, and warned that “the invasion of Ukraine unleashes the forces of war, death and destruction of the people of Ukraine.”
She called on the Security Council to call on Russia to cease all hostilities, to condemn aggression against the sovereign state and to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and to call on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the UN Charter. This is virtually impossible, given Russia’s veto power over the Council’s actions.
“Russia has brought us to the border,” Woodward said. “We urge Russia to retreat.”
In very brief remarks, China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, did not mention Russia’s actions on Monday, saying all parties “should exercise restraint and avoid any actions that could fuel tensions.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergei Kislitsa, has demanded that Russia revoke recognition of the independence of the separatist regions, immediately withdraw “occupation troops” sent there by Putin, and return to negotiations. He called the Security Council “sick” of its past inaction and called on members to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Despite Putin’s actions, he said, “Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders have been and will remain unchanged, regardless of any statements or actions by the Russian Federation.”
While Ukraine has the right to self-defense under the UN Charter, he said: “We are committed to a peaceful and diplomatic path and we will stand firm on it. We are on our own land. We are not afraid of anything or anyone. We don’t owe anyone anything, and we won’t give anything to anyone. “
He said there was “no doubt about it” because “it’s not February 2014” when Russia invaded Crimea, which it later annexed, and Ukraine was unprepared. “It’s February 2022,” he said.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, has accused the United States and its Western allies of imposing “armed” weapons on Ukraine. ”
He accused Ukraine of sharply intensifying shelling of residential areas in Luhansk and Donetsk last weekend, as well as some Russian cities and towns near the border. “So it has become clear that Donbass is on the verge of a new Ukrainian military adventure, as it was in 2014 and 2015,” he said, explaining why Putin made the statements earlier Monday.
On Monday, separatist authorities said that Ukrainian shelling had killed at least four civilians and injured several more in recent days. The Ukrainian military said two Ukrainian servicemen were killed last weekend and another was wounded on Monday. Spokesman for the Ukrainian military Pavlo Kovalchuk insisted that Ukrainian forces did not respond to the fire.
“We are still open to diplomacy for a diplomatic solution,” Nebenzia said. “However, we are not going to allow a new bloodbath in the Donbass.”
He called on the United States and other Western countries to “think twice, put emotions aside and not make matters worse.”
“No one but you can restrain Kyiv’s militaristic plans and force it to stop shelling the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, which in these new conditions could have extremely dangerous consequences,” Nebenzia said, alluding to future serious hostilities.
Albania’s ambassador to the UN, Ferrit Hoxha, called what Russia did on Monday a repetition of what Moscow did in Georgia in 2008, when it illegally occupied two regions, and in Crimea in 2014, “referring to aggression by fabricating phantom republics “.
“Who’s next?” He asked, saying “every UN member state should be alarmed.”
Kenya’s ambassador to the UN, Martin Kimani, said the Ukrainian crisis echoes the independence of every country in Africa that has inherited borders drawn by colonial powers that have not adhered to historical, cultural and linguistic ties. But instead of waging war, he said, African countries have accepted borders and “chosen to look ahead” and adhere to the UN Charter and the rules of the former Organization of African Unity.
Kimani accused Russia of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity and said that recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states could not be justified “if there are several diplomatic paths that can offer peaceful solutions.”
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