Russia ran into unsolicited advice – Newspaper Kommersant No. 17 (7218) of 02/01/2022

On Monday, the UN Security Council held an open meeting on the situation around Ukraine. The United States demanded to convene it, while Russia was categorically against holding such an event. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Vasily Nebenzya accused the United States of “working for the public” and “inciting hysteria” around the allegedly imminent “Russian invasion”, which is not believed even in Ukraine. However, Russia failed to thwart the US plans.

The United States demanded to hold a meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine on January 27 (Ukraine itself supported their initiative). US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement about the need for such an event that “Russia’s threatening behavior towards Ukraine and the buildup of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine and Belarus” constitutes a threat to “international peace and security.”

Russia was categorically against convening such a meeting. From February 1, she herself will head the Security Council for a month and has already scheduled a special meeting on Ukraine for February 17, with an emphasis on reviewing the implementation of the Minsk agreements to resolve the conflict in Donbass. Against this background, Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, demanded that a procedural vote be held on the question of its expediency before the start of the US-requested meeting.

“The US delegation indicated that it considers the deployment of Russian troops on Russian territory as a threat to international peace. This is not only unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of our state, but also an attempt to mislead the international community about the true state of affairs in the region, as well as the causes of the existing global tension,” Vasily Nebenzia addressed his colleagues. “In fact, we are being asked to convene a meeting of the Council Security because of speculation and baseless accusations that we have repeatedly denied.

According to him, by requesting an open meeting of the Security Council, the United States is engaged in “megaphone diplomacy”, “working for the public.”

“The desire of our American colleagues to whip up hysteria around their own allegations of allegedly impending Russian aggression, including using the UN rostrum, puts our colleagues on the Security Council in an extremely uncomfortable position,” continued Vasily Nebenzya.

According to him, “this whipping up of hysteria does no less harm to Ukraine itself.” The Russian diplomat recalled: “The President of Ukraine (Vladimir Zelensky.— “b”) recently asked Western countries not to whip up groundless hysteria around the presence of Russian troops on the border, since all this hype harms the Ukrainian economy. “We don’t need this panic,” Mr. Zelensky said. It seems to be needed by those who promote the theme of the mythical Russian threat.”

Vasily Nebenzya urged “sensible members of the council” not to support the “provocative proposal” of the United States and “show a responsible attitude” to the UN Charter and the Security Council.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in turn, stated the urgent need to hold a special meeting on Ukraine. According to her, representatives of the US State Department over the past few weeks have held more than 100 meetings on this topic, both with European and Ukrainian colleagues, and with Russian diplomats. “All these meetings were closed. We think that now is the time to hold a public meeting and discuss this topic in an open area,” she said.

In order for the meeting requested by the United States to take place, 9 of the 15 members of the Security Council had to vote in favor.

As a result, the idea to hold the event was supported by ten countries: the United States itself, as well as Great Britain, France, Albania, Brazil, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates.

Gabon, India and Kenya abstained. Russia and China opposed.

China’s envoy to the UN Zhang Jun said that now is the time for “quiet” rather than “megaphone” diplomacy. “Russia has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to start any military action. Ukraine has also made it clear that it does not need a war,” he recalled. “What gives the country (USA.— “b”) a reason to insist that war is possible and the question must be urgently raised in the council? According to him, the US initiative to hold an open meeting of the Security Council on Ukraine “does not contribute to creating either a favorable atmosphere for dialogue and negotiations, or to defuse tensions.”

The Chinese diplomat stressed that the conflict in Ukraine can only be resolved through diplomacy. And he made it clear that China understands Russia’s demand to stop the process of NATO expansion. “NATO expansion is an issue that is hard to ignore in resolving current tensions. The expansion of military alliances is guaranteed to lead to a decrease in regional security. Russia’s legitimate security concerns should be heard and taken into account,” Zhang Jun said.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield began her speech at the meeting by warning that “the situation in Europe is urgent and dangerous, and the stakes for Ukraine – and for every UN member state – could not be higher.”

“Russian aggression today is a threat not only to Ukraine. This is a threat to Europe and the international order that the Security Council is tasked with maintaining,” she continued. “We still hope that Russia will choose the path of diplomacy over conflict, but we cannot just sit and wait.”

According to her, the current crisis is caused by “an unprovoked buildup of forces by Russia.” “Russia has pulled a significant military force of more than 100,000 troops to the border with Ukraine. These are combat forces and special forces trained to conduct offensive operations on the territory of Ukraine. This is the largest – I repeat, the largest – mobilization of troops in Europe in recent decades, ”the American diplomat announced.

She assured that the US and its allies are committed to peace and dialogue. “We do not want a confrontation, but if Russia makes a further invasion of Ukraine, then we will act decisively, quickly and in a consolidated way,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned. And she added: “If such an invasion occurs, none of us can say that we did not expect it. The consequences will be dire.”

Vasily Nebenzya, in turn, noted that representatives of Western countries, declaring the need for de-escalation, “they themselves escalate tension with rhetoric and provoke an escalation.”

“The talk of a coming war is provocative in itself. You seem to be calling for this, wanting and waiting for it to happen. As if you want to make your speculations a reality,” he addressed the Western ambassadors. public figures for all this time did not sound.

According to the Russian permanent representative, the conflict in Donbass has only one dimension – internal Ukrainian. “The situation can be corrected only through the implementation by Kiev of the Minsk agreements, which primarily provide for a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk. There is no other way,” he said. “If our Western colleagues are pushing Kiev to sabotage the Minsk agreements, which the Ukrainian authorities are willing to use, then this can end in the most deplorable way for Ukraine. And not because someone will destroy it. But because it will destroy itself.”

Many were interested in what Serhiy Kislitsa, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, would say at the meeting. Recall, according to CNN, during the last conversation between Vladimir Zelensky and Joe Biden, the American president convinced that the Russian invasion was “practically obvious”, and called for preparing for an “inevitable” strike and “plunder” of Kiev. However, Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not agree with this assessment and asked not to sow panic, as this harms the Ukrainian economy. At a press conference, the Ukrainian president called the US policy of “supporting the topic” of risk from Russia a mistake. The White House and the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States called the CNN report completely false.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov today called on the United States and its allies to stop “unwinding hysterics” around Ukraine through the media. According to him, this leads to tension in Ukraine, where “people are almost already collecting front-line bags.”

Sergei Kislytsya during his speech announced that Russia had pulled over 130,000 troops to the borders of Ukraine, but he did not talk about the high risk of invasion.

At the same time, he assured that the Ukrainian armed forces do not plan to launch a military offensive against the Donbass, Crimea or other territories. He also stressed that Kiev is ready for contacts with Moscow. “My president has confirmed that he is ready to meet with his Russian counterpart. If Russia has any questions for Ukraine, it is better to meet and talk, rather than move troops to the borders of Ukraine and intimidate the Ukrainian people,” Serhiy Kislitsa said.

Representatives of a number of other countries spoke at the meeting. No decisions were made following the event.

Elena Chernenko

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