The U.S. and Russia fell into a diplomatic war at a Monday United Nations meeting over strong suspicions that Russia plans to invade Ukraine, but no decisions were made about taking any preventive measures to stop the invasion, according to The Hill.
The U.S. approached the meeting as an opportunity to rally the international community against Russia’s aggression.
“The situation we are facing in Europe is urgent and dangerous,” the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said of the likely invasion. “Russia’s actions strike at the very heart of the U.N. charter.”
For its part, Russia denied it even planned to invade Ukraine, although it still hasn’t given a credible reason for amassing over 100,000 troops on the border and intelligence reports say it plans to invade sometime this month.
Cold war tensions
The New York Times reported that the tensions in the room were like those during the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, of which Russia is the closest successor.
Russian UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia responded to Thomas-Greenfield’s statement by saying that she is “whipping up tensions and provoking escalation,” and insisted that Russia did not plan to invade its neighbor.
“You are almost pulling for this,” he said, looking straight at Thomas-Greenfield. “You want it to happen. You’re waiting for it to happen, as if you want to make your words become a reality.”
The Russian gaslighting attempt is not surprising, but all of Europe is aware of Russia’s plans and isn’t buying its denials.
Sanctions in the works
Leaders from Poland and Britain will visit Kyiv on Tuesday to show solidarity with Ukraine, even though the UN as a body is not ready to announce sanctions on Russia.
The U.S. Senate is working on a bipartisan sanctions deal against Russia, and may have to go it alone or work with allies willing to agree with its moves.
Germany is dependent on Russia for its natural gas and is unwilling to cross its main supplier.
But access to the Nord Stream II pipeline between Germany and Russia may become a casualty of the global situation if Russia does invade Ukraine since Biden said he would not back its approval in that case.