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US seeks to increase pressure on Russia at UN Security Council to avoid war

Today, Monday, Jan. 31, members of the UN Security Council will meet for the first time to discuss the current situation between Russia and Ukraine. The U.S. is expected to increase pressure on Russia to avoid an armed conflict.

This Monday, members will discuss the presence of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and the global consequences that an invasion would bring. The Security Council meeting, was scheduled to start at 10.00 New York time and will be held in public.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said last week, when she announced the meeting, that Council members “must squarely examine the facts and consider what is at stake for Ukraine, for Russia, for Europe, and for the core obligations and principles of the international order should Russia further invade Ukraine.”

Following these statements, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, launched a blunt criticism writing in a tweet, “I can’t recall another occasion when a SC (Security Council) member proposed to discuss its own baseless allegations and assumptions as a threat to intl (international) order from someone else,” according to Associated Press (AP) reported.

“Hopefully fellow UNSC members will not support this clear PR stunt shameful for the reputation of UN Security Council,” he added.

The Kremlin, while continuing to demand NATO assurances that it will not include Ukraine as a member and that the alliance will reverse troop deployments in Eastern Europe, denied time and again that an invasion would happen and sees no goodwill in the call, accusing the U.S. of bringing the matter before the United Nations using unfounded assumptions. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov last week directly accused the U.S. and NATO of instigating the crisis to escalate tensions.

While the head of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, as AP reported, “We don’t want war and we don’t need it at all,” calling Western claims that Russia threatens Ukraine “ridiculous.”

But for the U.S. the buildup of more than 100,000 military troops on the Ukrainian border and other Russian actions pose an obvious threat to international peace. The West has responded by sending weaponry and 8,500 men to be deployed in Europe in case an invasion materializes. 

Russia has the option of calling for a vote to block the meeting, although the U.S. and its allies have so far been convinced that they have sufficient support to proceed with the initiative.

Statements are expected from all 15 members, including Russia, and Ukraine. The discussion is mainly aimed at each country presenting an official position on the current crisis, although no concrete outcome is expected.

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