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US faces off with Russia over Ukraine crisis

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Russia has failed to avoid a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Ukraine crisis, with 10 of the 15 members voting in favour of deliberations in New York.

Earlier, Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia described the meeting requested by the United States as groundless, adding that it was an example of “megaphone diplomacy”.

The US requested the meeting in the Security Council because it and its allies fear a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The US is demanding a withdrawal of the roughly 100,000 Russian soldiers that have massed on the Ukrainian border.

Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of a planned invasion.


US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke at the UN meeting. Photo: Getty

Mr Nebenzia accused the Americans of whipping up hysteria with “unfounded accusations that we have refuted”, adding that no Russian troops were in Ukraine.

American Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield asked members to consider how they would feel “if you had 100,000 troops sitting on your borders”.

“The situation we are facing in Europe is urgent and dangerous,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said in her opening remarks.

“Russia’s actions strike at the very heart of the UN charter.”

She said the Russian military build up represented “an escalation in a pattern of aggression that we’ve seen from Russia again and again.”

Mr Nebenzia accused Ms Thomas-Greenfield of making a “hodgepodge of accusations but no specific facts” as he claimed the US and its Western allies were manufacturing a crisis to drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine.

He said Russia wanted peace.

The New York Times reports that though the two-hour meeting did not result in any action, the Biden administration regarded it as an important step to show the US would stand up to Russia over its threats to invade Ukraine.

The US has already threatened to unleash crippling economic sanctions on Russia if Ukraine is invaded.

“We made clear to the international community the full implications of that threat — not just for Ukraine, but for core tenets of the UN Charter and the modern international order,” Mr Biden said in a White House statement published by The New York Times.

“If Russia is sincere about addressing our respective security concerns through dialogue, the United States and our Allies and partners will continue to engage in good faith.

“If instead Russia chooses to walk away from diplomacy and attack Ukraine, Russia will bear the responsibility, and it will face swift and severe consequences.”

-with AAP

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