At the UN Security Council, Russia has clashed with Western supporters of Ukraine’s new administration in an emergency session, with strong words on both sides.
Moscow called the meeting to condemn what it described as Kyiv’s “punitive” and “criminal” military operation in Slovyansk.
“We would urge Kyiv as well as its enablers and the signatories of the Geneva declaration, the US and the EU, not to commit criminal errors,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, told the 15-nation council.
“It is time for Western colleagues to think twice, to reason with those they are mentoring in Ukraine and to stop toying with the destiny of the Ukrainian people to achieve their own geo-political goals.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, expressed Washington’s views with equal vigour.
“The fact that Russia has chosen to call an emergency session in protest is yet another indication that the authorities in Moscow either underestimate the intelligence of the world community or that they are trying to replicate in eastern Ukraine the charade that they were responsible for in Crimea,” she said.
“We are outraged by that prospect but we are not fooled.”
Friday’s gathering was just the latest inconclusive session.
The UN Security Council has held numerous emergency meetings on Ukraine but has been incapable of taking concrete action because of Russia’s sharp disagreements with the United States and Europe.