The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on a Russian-drafted appeal for aid access and civilian safety in Ukraine on Friday, but diplomats fear the measure is doomed to fail since it does not call for an end to the conflict or Russian troop withdrawal.
The proposed resolution does not mention accountability or acknowledge Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.
In a video uploaded on Twitter on Tuesday, Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward called these ‘glaring omissions’ and said Russia was ‘game-playing.’ She stated that the United Kingdom will not vote in favour of Russia’s draught wording.
‘Their resolution emphasises the importance of parties adhering to international humanitarian law, but it ignores the fact that Russia is perpetrating war crimes,’ she said. ‘This humanitarian disaster is being driven by their invasion and actions.’
To be adopted, a Security Council resolution requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes from Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, or the United States. According to diplomats, Russia’s effort would fail since the majority of the 15 members would most certainly abstain.
‘We indicated from the start that we would be willing to approve a humanitarian resolution on the situation in Ukraine, provided that this is not a cover for blaming and shaming Russia again,’ Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia said on Tuesday.
‘Civilians, particularly humanitarian staff and persons in vulnerable situations, including women and children, must be completely protected,’ according to the Russian-drafted Security Council resolution. It also demands that help be delivered in a secure and unfettered manner, as well as that people be able to leave Ukraine safely.
Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Moscow of indiscriminately striking civilians. Thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion, which began on February 24.
Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine have been dubbed a ‘special operation.’ It denies striking citizens and claims that its air, ground, and sea attacks are aimed at destroying Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
According to diplomats, the United Nations Security Council will convene on Thursday to be briefed on Ukraine at the request of the United States, Albania, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and Norway.