UN Security Council members look to act on Ukraine, but doomed to fail

Russia has denied it wants to invade Ukraine and accuses Washington and its allies of hysteria. PHOTO: NYTIMES

UNITED NATIONS (REUTERS) - United Nations Security Council members are preparing to put forward a draft resolution on Ukraine that will call out Russia over its actions toward its neighbour, said a Security Council diplomat, but the move is doomed to fail.

It will not be adopted by the 15-member council as Russia is a veto power - along with the United States, France, Britain and China - but it gives Washington and its allies a chance to show that Moscow is internationally isolated over its actions on Ukraine.

"We work on the resolution in the Security Council. I hope we can move to action in the next hours or days, ... and if we cannot succeed in the Security Council we'll go right away to the General Assembly," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The council will not take any action on a draft resolution at an emergency meeting later on Wednesday (Feb 23), diplomats said.

Tensions have been building over US accusations that Russia has deployed more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine's borders and is ready to invade. Russia has denied it wants to invade Ukraine and accuses Washington and its allies of hysteria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of two Moscow-backed separatist regions of eastern Ukraine and has ordered the deployment of Russian troops there to "keep the peace". Washington and its allies have responded with a series of sanctions.

"The draft will make it very clear that Russia is not in compliance with the UN charter, that Russia is not in compliance with international law, with resolution 2202 that endorses the Minsk agreement," the diplomat said.

"We will certainly urge Russia to get back to compliance immediately," the diplomat said. "We don't believe this would jeopardise the possibility to resume talks and negotiations as soon as possible."

The moves at the United Nations appear set to mirror what happened in 2014 after Russia occupied Ukraine's Crimea region.

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The Security Council voted on a US-drafted resolution opposing a referendum on the status of Crimea and urging countries not to recognise it. It received 13 votes in favour, China abstained, and Russia cast a veto.

The 193-member UN General Assembly then adopted a resolution declaring the referendum invalid. It received 100 votes in favour, 11 against and 58 abstentions, while two dozen countries didn't vote.

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