Antony Blinken accused Russia of planning to fabricate a pretext that could include “a false, even real, attack with chemical weapons… Russia can describe this event as ethnic cleansing or genocide.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that Washington believes Russia could try to invade Ukraine , warning that Moscow is preparing to take military action. in the coming days”.
Blinken accused Russia of planning to fabricate a pretext that could include “a false, even real, attack with chemical weapons … Russia can describe this event as ethnic cleansing or genocide.”
“The Russian government can announce today, without nuance, equivocation or diversion, that Russia will not invade Ukraine. Say it clearly. Say it clearly to the world, and then prove it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to your barracks and hangars and your diplomats to the negotiating table,” Blinken said.
The top US diplomat appeared at a meeting of the 15-member Council on the Minsk accords , which are aimed at ending an eight-year conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.
The meeting comes amid tension after the United States accused Russia of deploying some 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders in recent weeks. Russia has said it has no plans to invade Ukraine and accuses the West of hysteria.
Blinken said US information indicated that Russian forces “are preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine in the coming days” and that he has asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to meet with him in Europe next week.
In his speech, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Vershinin , called on the Council members not to turn the meeting “into a circus”, by presenting an “unsubstantiated accusation that Russia was supposed to attack Ukraine “.
“I think we’ve had enough speculation about it,” Vershinin said. “We have long since cleared everything up and explained everything.”
A US government official had warned earlier on Thursday that Russia could use the Security Council meeting to “set up a pretext for a possible invasion” , after Moscow circulated a document among members alleging that had committed war crimes in southeastern Ukraine.
The US official rejected the Russian claims as “categorically false”.
Referring to ethnic Russians living in eastern Ukraine, Vershinin said they “continue to be presented as foreigners in their own country” and are targeted by the Ukrainian military. He added that Council members would be “appalled” by the document Russia had shared with them.
Yaşar Halit Çevik , head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, told the Security Council that although some 500 explosions had been recorded overnight, “the tension may appear to be easing”.
The UN Security Council has met dozens of times to discuss the Ukraine crisis since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 , but it cannot take any action because Russia has veto power along with France, Great Britain. Britain, China and the United States.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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