UNITED NATIONS – Russia signaled on Friday that it could call a vote to prevent the U.N. Security Council from meeting publicly on Monday, at the request of the United States, to discuss a build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.
“I can’t recall another occasion when a Security Council member proposed to discuss its own baseless allegations and assumptions as a threat to international order from someone else,” Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter on Friday.
“Hopefully fellow UNSC (U.N. Security Council) members will not support this clear PR (public relations) stunt shameful for the reputation of U.N. Security Council,” Polyanskiy said.
Russia has massed around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine while denying it plans to invade. Several rounds of talks have taken place without a breakthrough, but both the United States, the NATO military alliance and Russia have kept the door open to further dialogue.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Thursday asked for the 15-member U.N. Security Council to meet publicly on Monday to discuss Russia’s “threatening behavior” against Ukraine and the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and in Belarus.
Any Security Council member could call for a vote to block the meeting. A minimum of nine votes are needed to proceed with a meeting and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes. U.N. diplomats said any attempt to stop the meeting on Monday would likely be defeated.
The U.N. Security Council has met dozens of times over the crisis in Ukraine since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. It is unable to take any action as Russia is one of the council’s five veto powers.