There have been angry exchanges at an emergency UN Security Council meeting, with the US accusing Russia of having “outright lied” over its role in Ukraine.
Moscow came under fire amid claims that it had sent troops and tanks over the border.
“At every step, Russia has come before this Council to say everything except the truth. It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied,” Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN, told the meeting.
“So we have learned to measure Russia by its actions and not by its words. In the last 48 hours Russia’s actions have spoken volumes,” she continued.
Russia’s UN ambassador accused America of meddling – but did not deny the presence of Russian fighters as he addressed the meeting.
“The American ambassador said ‘what kind of message can we send to Russia’s neighbours?’. Well, I would suggest that we send a message to Washington: stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states,” said Vitaly Churkin.
“Stop trying to undermine a regime that you don’t like. Restrain your geo-political ambitions. Then not only Russia’s neighbours, but a lot of other countries around the world, will breathe a sigh of relief.”
Moscow has been virtually isolated in the dozens of Security Council meetings on the Ukraine crisis. But because of Russia’s veto powers, the Council has been unable to act.