Security Council on Ukraine | United Nations (31 Jan 2022)

Security Council meeting on the Threats to international peace and security (Ukraine).

Following weeks of heightened tensions around Ukraine, with reports that Russia has been deploying more than 100,000 troops and heavy weapons close to its border, the United Nations’ Security Council held its first meeting to discuss ways of de-escalating the crisis on Monday.

Addressing ambassadors, the UN political affairs chief reiterated the UN Secretary-General’s appeal that “there can be no alternative to diplomacy and dialogue”.

Highlighting the “complex and long-standing security concerns and threat perceptions that have been raised”, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, repeated that any military intervention involving Russia, or NATO alliance forces which are also now on high alert, must be averted.

She said that any incursion by one State on another’s territory, would be against international law and the United Nations Charter.

According to her, it is reported that in addition to the 100,000 troops on Russian soil along Ukraine’s border, unspecified numbers of Russian troops and weaponry are also reportedly being deployed to Belarus ahead of large-scale joint military exercises in February on the borders with Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States.

NATO members are also reportedly planning additional deployments in Eastern European member states, and NATO has advised that 8,500 troops are now on high alert.

“Accusations and recriminations among the various actors involved in the ongoing discussions have created uncertainty and apprehension for many that a military confrontation is impending”, she said.

Diplomatic efforts
Ms. DiCarlo also welcomed the ongoing diplomatic discussions, saying the UN hopes that a successful de-escalation will strengthen peace and security in Europe.

These efforts include a 13 January meeting in Vienna held by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and a 21 January meeting between the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva.

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