Russia and US Begin Facing Off Over Ukraine at UNSC

Due to an increase in coronavirus instances caused by the highly transmissible omicron strain, a United Nations nuclear treaty conference has been postponed until August of next year

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) began a session this afternoon over the ongoing Ukraine crisis. 

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, called for a vote on Monday over whether the security council should hold the meeting today on Ukraine. Nebenzya said that the meeting was called based off of “unfounded accusations,” and “the myth of Russian aggression.” He also said the meeting was an excuse for the United States to “whip up hysterics.” 

Moscow needed nine other countries out of the 15 that make up the UNSC to support its demand. Ten voted for the meeting, two were against, and three abstained. 

Today was the last day of Norway’s presidency of the Security Council, which meant that today was the last day that the United States could hold a UNSC meeting on Ukraine before Russia takes over the presidency of the security council. If the meeting were to happen anytime from tomorrow, Russia would have been the UNSC president, and therefore it would have allowed Russia to frame and shape the debate. 

This is the first time that the Security Council has met on the ongoing, and escalating, Ukraine crisis. Russia has amassed 100,000 troops at the border and is threatening actions against Ukraine. Russia’s military presence on its border with Ukraine has resulted in increasingly strong warnings from the U.S. and Western allies that Russia clearly intends to invade. 

On Thursday, the United States called for the meeting. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that Russia’s actions pose a clear threat to peace and security, as well as to the U.N. Charter. 

Russia did not respond well to the call for the meeting. The country’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, tweeted that he could not recall another occasion when a Security Council member proposed to discuss “its own baseless allegations and assumptions.” He called it a “clear PR stunt.” 

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