After months of tensions over Russia’s massive troop buildup regarding Ukraine’s borders, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met today, Monday, February 1, 2022, to discuss the situation between the countries, later on adjourning the confrontational meeting after two hours of open debate and discussion.
During the meeting, the United States and Russia bitterly attacked each other over the Ukraine crisis. US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused Russia of endangering peace and global security because of their decision to mass more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border.
Thomas-Greenfield mentioned while warning the “horrific” consequences that may occur if Russia attacks Ukraine, “Colleagues, the situation we’re facing in Europe is urgent and dangerous, and the stakes for Ukraine and for every UN member state could not be higher.” She added, “Russia’s actions strike at the very heart of the UN charter. This is as clear and consequential a threat to peace and security as anyone can imagine.”
In light of her statement, the Russian military has been amassing troops near the country’s border with Ukraine which sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the US which increased the fear of Americans and Europeans that Moscow may be preparing for an imminent invasion.
On the other hand, Vassily Nebenzia, her Russian counterpart dismissed that accusation and mentioned that the US is aiming at Russia for being weak and they are the provocateurs who are “whipping up tensions and provoking escalation,” as he insisted that Russia is planning to invade, and has vehemently opposed Ukraine’s efforts to join NATO.
During the meeting, Nebenzia disregarded the US’ assessment regarding the 100,000 Russian troops that have gathered on the border, saying that they do not have enough evidence and to show him that Russia is indeed planning to attack Ukraine while pointing out that America’s testimony has been unreliable in the past.
In response to Nebenzia, Greenfield revoked his accusation and instead pointed out that the provocation instead is from Russia and not the United States, Greenfield said “The threat of aggression on the border of Ukraine—yes, on its border—is provocative. Our recognition of the facts on the ground is not provocative. The provocation is from Russia, not from us or other members of this council.”
In defense, the White House said that the intelligence indicates that there are indeed 100,000 Russian troops around the Ukraine border. Jem Psaki of the White House said “We have based the information we have provided to all of you on substantive reports out there, our own assessments, our own coordinated intelligence gathering with our partners on the ground,” and emphasized that they are sure of what they see with their own eyes.
The allies included in the meeting sided with the United States and mentioned that they need to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and solve it by providing solutions through diplomacy. Albania’s representative, Feri Hoxha made a notable statement regarding that that the threat of the military attack by Russia against Ukraine is another crisis between Russia and US, rather it is, ” a challenge to the European security order and the whole international security architecture, which is based on the UN Charter.”
The meeting ended without any action or even a joint statement, but as mentioned and based on the ambassador’s statements from the U.S. and Russia, they have only sparred in dueling remarks trying to blame each side for escalating the crisis.