18 FEBRUARY 2022
In the UN Security Council Meeting held on 17 February 2022, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs called on all to exercise maximum restraint on the Ukraine crisis.
“Whatever one believes about the prospect of such a confrontation, the reality is that the current situation is extremely dangerous. However these issues can and must be solved through diplomacy,” Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General said in the meeting.
“UN continues to stand with the people of Ukraine, expressing full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders,” She reiterated the UN solidarity with the people of Ukraine and called for the parties to make meaningful progress on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 2015, as reported the UN News on 17 February 2022.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken challenged Russia to make an unequivocal statement that it would not invade Ukraine and “demonstrate it by sending the troops, tanks, planes back to their barracks”.
“There is no alternative to diplomacy,” the UN Secretary General said amid increasing tension over Ukraine between Russia and Western countries of the NATO alliance on 14 February 2022.
“I am deeply worried by the heightened tensions and increased speculations about a potential military conflict in Europe,” the UN Chief was briefing to the journalists at UN Headquarters, New York in an effort to defuse tensions and de-escalate actions and to open a “windows of diplomacy”.
US President Joe Biden reiterated the “threat of a Russian invasion was very high despite Moscow’s claims of troops pullback”.
Earlier, the US and NATO opposed Russia’s desire to negotiate on the Ukraine crisis by pulling back troops .
The Russian defence ministry released a video showing tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and artillery units leaving the Crimean area by crossing the bridge, which was seized in 2014.
“There’s what Russia says. And then there’s what Russia does. We haven’t seen any pullback of its forces,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg also said that Russian troops have not moved out but only moved towards the border, not away from the border.
“We know that there are still lots of soldiers and troops along the Ukrainian border. This is threatening and remains a threatening situation. We can’t be naïve about this,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz responded.
Russia reiterated that they never planned to attack Ukraine but tried to prevent Ukraine joining NATO.
In 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became independent and declared a neutral state. In 1994, Ukraine established a partnership with NATO and also formed a limited military partnership with Russia. In 2013, Ukraine President decided to suspend the European Union economic agreement and tried to make close ties with Russia, initiating protests that turned into overthrowing the government. Later in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea following mass protests in the region.
Since 2014, the US has imposed sanctions on Russia on the issue of annexation of Crimea and the support for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine.