Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ukraine/Russia: Emergency Meeting of UN Securiity Council Occurs, No Useful Results

According to The Associated Press, a top UN official told the Security Council Thursday (August 28) further violence in Ukraine marked a dangerous escalation, but that the international body had no way of verifying the latest reports of a Russian invasion.

In an emergency session on the growing crisis in Ukraine, members expressed outrage with US Ambassador Samantha Power saying Russia "has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin offered a spirited defense, saying Kiev "is waging war against its own people."

The emergency Security Council meeting came hours after a top Ukrainian official said two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles fired missiles from Russia at a Ukraine border post, then rolled into the country. That opened a new front in the war in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russia separatists and the new recently-stalled government of President Petro Poroshenko.

Statements from NATO, Poroshenko, the separatists, the US and the president of the Security Council left no doubt that Russia had invaded Ukraine. 

A top NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops have entered Ukraine with sophisticated equipment and have been in direct "contact" with Ukrainian soldiers, resulting in casualties.

The new southeastern front raised fears that the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea, which Russia annexed in March.

COMMENT: The conduct of the emergency meeting of the Security Council meeting is that the UN is impotent to modify member nation behavior.

UN Undersecretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman opened the meeting telling Council members the latest developments mark a "dangerous escalation in the conflict."

Ambassador Power reminded the Council that the meeting was "the 24th session to try to rein in Russia's aggressive acts in the Ukraine."

Churkin said he wanted to "send a message to Washington: Stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states."

Lithuania's UN ambassador, Raimonda Murmokaite, who requested the emergency meeting, tweeted prior to the meeting: "An invasion is an invasion is an invasion."