UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The United States will present the United Nations Security Council with a resolution condemning Russia for its actions against Ukraine on Thursday (Feb 24), US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning Singapore time).
“The Council will need to act, and we will put a resolution on the table tomorrow,” said Thomas-Greenfield, although an American official speaking anonymously later clarified that the vote, in which Russia holds a veto, will likely come on Friday.
Members of the Security Council had met on Wednesday for a second emergency meeting in three days over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had made a personal appeal to Vladimir Putin to not attack Ukraine, minutes before the Russian president announced a military operation against its ex-Soviet neighbour.
“President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine, give peace a chance, too many people have already died,” Guterres said during the second emergency Security Council meeting in three days over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The US's UN envoy Thomas-Greenfield made a similar appeal to the Russian president.
“Send your troops and your tanks and your planes back to their barracks and hangars and send your diplomats to the negotiating table,” she said.
As world leaders one after another urged Russia to stand down, Mr Putin made a surprise speech on Russian TV, announcing he had “made the decision of a military operation”.
Warnings of a possible Russian invasion had mounted over weeks, as Moscow massed troops on Ukraine’s borders and earlier this week recognised the independence of two breakaway eastern Ukraine regions.
Mr Putin’s announcement came after the Kremlin said rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine had asked Moscow for military help against Kyiv.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations told the UN meeting that Moscow’s military operation against Ukraine was targeting “the junta” in power in Kiyv.
“I wanted to say in conclusion that we aren’t being aggressive against the Ukrainian people but against the junta that is in power in Kiyv,” said Vassily Nebenzia.
China's envoy to the UN said it was necessary to avoid intensifying the conflict, and said Beijing would continue to promote talks in its own way.