On Sunday, the United States worked to increase diplomatic and financial pressure on Russia over Ukraine, threatening to put Moscow on the defensive at the United Nations Security Council, as senators on Capitol Hill indicated that they were close to reaching an agreement on “the mother of all penalties.”
The United States’ envoy told the United Nations that the Security Council will press Russia hard in a meeting that is to be held on Monday to discuss its force buildup near Ukraine and fears of an invasion.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield from the United States and the other council members said that “Our voices are unanimous in calling on the Russians to explain themselves.” “We’ll go into the room ready to listen, but we won’t be distracted by their propaganda.”
Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador made it clear to the United States that the Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to wage an “attack on democracy,” not just on one country. Some key foreign policy professionals have asked President Joe Biden to make this point, especially at the Security Council.
“Of course, if Russia attacks Ukraine again, they will not stop in Ukraine,” Markarova said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Given Russia’s veto power and its ties with other members of the Security Council, particularly China, any formal action by the Security Council is exceedingly improbable. However, the United States’ referral of Russia’s force buildup to the UN’s most powerful body provides both sides a foothold in the global opinion war.
The massing of an estimated 100,000 Russian troops along Ukraine’s border has prompted increasingly harsh warnings from the West that Moscow is planning an invasion. Russia demands that NATO guarantee that Ukraine will never be admitted to the alliance, that NATO armaments will not be deployed near Russian borders, and that NATO forces will withdraw from the Eastern Europe. These demands are deemed unachievable by NATO and the US.