U.S. ASKS UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET ON RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

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WASHINGTON: The United States has asked that the United Nations Security Council meet publicly on Monday to discuss Russia‘s “threatening behavior” against Ukraine and its troop build-up on Ukraine‘s borders and in Belarus, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday.

Russia has massed around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine while denying it plans to invade. Several rounds of talks have taken place without a breakthrough but both the U.S.-led NATO military alliance and Russia have kept the door open to further dialogue.

“Russia is engaging in other destabilizing acts aimed at Ukraine, posing a clear threat to international peace and security and the U.N. Charter,” ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement.

“This is not a moment to wait and see. The council’s full attention is needed now, and we look forward to direct and purposeful discussion on Monday,” she said.

Any Security Council member could call for a procedural vote to block the meeting. A minimum of nine votes are needed to win such a vote and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes. U.N. diplomats said any attempt to stop the meeting on Monday would likely be defeated.

The U.N. Security Council has met dozens of times over the crisis in Ukraine since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. It is unable to take any action as Russia is one of the council’s five veto powers.

“As we continue our relentless pursuit of diplomacy to de-escalate tensions in the face of this serious threat to European and global peace and security, the U.N. Security Council is a crucial venue for diplomacy,” Thomas-Greenfield said.