For the second time in the past three days, the Security Council met to discuss the Ukraine crisis on March 3, on the request of the Russian Federation. Expectedly, no decision was reached.
Ukraine’s United Nations ambassador sent a three-page letter to every member state, accusing Russian forces of using stun grenades against Ukrainian soldiers, trespassing in Ukrainian airspace and deploying 16,000 troops to the Crimean peninsula, the New York Times reported. Russia’s Permanent Representative told the Council that '“ultranationalists,” including anti-Semites, had threatened Russians and Russian speakers inside Ukraine, prompting Russia to act'.
The representatives of the United States and UK criticized Russia’s justification as “bogus” and as if it was “the rapid response arm of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights”. On the other hand, the Chinese ambassador said that his country supports the principles of the UN Charter, and that there were resons why events in Ukraine had progressed to the present stage, while calling on all sides to resort to dialogue based on international law.
Earlier in the day, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talked to the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council session.
Mr Ban called for “de-escalation of the crisis” and engagement in a “meaningful dialogue”.
“Any internal crises should be overcome by dialogue of all political forces, ethnic and confessional groups, in compliance with international obligations, first of all the obligations on international humanitarian law, the protection of human rights and ethnic minorities rights,” Lavrov said at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The crisis has been developing rather swiftly since February 28th, and the western leaders addressed a whole range of messages in condemnation of Moscow’s actions.
For a background of the crisis, see this BBC primer.
Can we expect another Security Council meeting soon? “We certainly do not rule out presenting resolution to the Security Council in the next few days”, the UK Ambassador hinted to the press.
Diplomatic live feed:
- The NATO alliance and Russia have agreed to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine at a special meeting on Wednesday, AP reports.
In the meantime, you can follow the live feed and breaking news here.
Cover Image: German Mission to UN