At the UN Security Council on Monday, the United States and Russia engaged in a ferocious exchange over the Ukraine crisis that could have come straight out of the Cold War.
Russian diplomats dismissed the US-backed fear-mongering that they called “baseless and hysterical,” which they said was intended to weaken Russia and incite armed conflict, while the United States and its Western allies accused Russia of endangering peace and destabilizing global security by amassing more than 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s border with the Russian Federation.
During her opening remarks to a council meeting that Russia had attempted to thwart, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared, “The situation we are facing in Europe is urgent and dangerous.” It has been said that “Russia’s actions strike at the heart of the UN charter.”
Vassily Nebenzia, her Russian counterpart, said the United States was the aggressor, “raising tensions and provoking escalation,” as he insisted that Russia had no intention of launching an invasion in Ukraine.
Looking at Thomas-Greenfield, he said, “You’re almost pulling for this.” “It’s what you want. As if you want to make your words a reality, you’re waiting for it to happen.”
The United States requested last week that the 15-nation Security Council meet, but no major diplomatic breakthrough was expected: the council is better known for its failures than successes in preventing armed conflicts.
Still, the meeting was a high-profile opportunity for the world’s two most powerful nuclear weapons states to influence public opinion on Ukraine’s escalating tensions.
After four days of wrangling at the UN, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Monday, with Macron’s call being the second time in as many days.
In addition to Putin’s demands for “security guarantees,” which include a legally binding halt to NATO expansion to the east, the Kremlin said the two leaders had discussed Ukraine. The Kremlin said they agreed to keep in touch via phone and to “work promptly” on the possibility of an in-person meeting.
US officials said Monday that they had received a Russian response to Washington’s proposal to defuse the Ukraine crisis, which was made last week. It’s unclear exactly what the Biden administration said in response because a State Department official wouldn’t discuss it publicly.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to call Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday morning.
There was no doubt that while diplomats at the UN Security Council insisted on a peaceful resolution to Ukraine, Russian and American envoys’ rhetoric hinted at an ongoing rift between the two countries and the threat of military force.
There have been hundreds of bogus bomb threats in Ukraine, where many people have been frightened by the constant stream of menacing news about Russian military maneuvers, cyber-attacks, and disinformation. There is a strong possibility that Russia was behind the threats, according to Ukrainian officials. Fake bomb scares were six times more common in January than they were the year before, according to the report.
In response to Ukraine’s pleas, Moscow agreed to ease tensions.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said in a video briefing for reporters that Russia has “multiple times announced they do not want war.” The only way Russia can prove these words is by immediately reducing its military, political, and economic pressure on Ukraine. Invented protests, cyberattacks, and other attempts to disrupt daily life in Ukraine can be dropped as a strategy.
Since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after ousting a pro-Russian government in Ukraine, tensions surrounding Ukraine, a former Soviet republic of 44 million people, have been simmering.
Since the end of the Cold War, relations between the United States and Russia have fallen to their lowest ebb.
In recent weeks, Russia has sent troops to Ukraine’s borders, according to the United States and its NATO partners. In response to the Kremlin’s claims that NATO poses a threat to the country, the alliance has pledged to never admit Ukraine as a member.
If Russia invades Ukraine, the Biden administration has promised to respond with crippling economic sanctions against Russia. If Putin were to order an invasion, the administration would implement “specific sanctions packages” targeting Russian “elites” and leaders “in or near the inner circle of the Kremlin,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
After a two-hour meeting, the Security Council adjourned without taking any action. At the end of Sergiy Kyslytsya’s speech, Nebenzia left the meeting without saying anything.
The Russian response to the meeting disappointed Thomas-Greenfield, as she told reporters after the fact.
They convened so that Russia could explain its actions, she explained. “We called for this meeting. It was disappointing that they didn’t provide us with the answers that we had hoped for.
It was still a significant display of the United States and its allies’ resolve to confront Russia over the military threat on Ukraine’s borders, according to the administration of Vice President Joe Biden.
US Vice President Joe Biden said in a press release that the United States and its allies and partners will continue to engage in good faith if Russia is sincere about addressing our respective security concerns through dialogue (source). In the event that Russia chooses to abandon diplomacy and attack Ukraine, it will be held responsible for its actions and face swift and severe consequences..”