UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The United Nations will hold an emergency Security Council meeting on the Ukraine crisis later on Monday (10am Tuesday Singapore time), diplomats told AFP, after Russia's recognition of separatist territories in Ukraine as independent and ordered its military to act as peacekeepers.
Russia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council, had wanted it to be closed but the United States insisted it to be public, the diplomats said.
The meeting had been requested by the United States and its allies including France.
The other countries behind the request for the meeting, based on a letter from Ukraine to the UN, also include Britain, Ireland and Albania, the same sources said.
It is up to the rotating presidency of the Council to formally schedule the meeting.
In the letter, Ukraine's ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya cited the UN Charter and rules of procedure to demand that a representative from his country be at any emergency meeting.
The letter, addressed to the Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia and obtained by AFP, also asked that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres participate in the emergency session, as well as a representative of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she supports an emergency meeting.
"The Security Council must demand that Russia respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, a UN Member State," she said in a statement.
"Russia's announcement is nothing more than theatre, apparently designed to create a pretext for a further invasion of Ukraine."