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Russia signals possible vote to stop UN meeting on troop build-up

Russia signals possible vote to stop UN meeting on troop build-up

FILE PHOTO: First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nation Dmitry Polyanskiy speaks during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S. September 23, 2021. John Minchillo/Pool via REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS: Russia signaled on Friday (Jan 28) that it could call a vote to prevent the UN 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 UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter on Friday.

"Hopefully fellow UNSC (UN Security Council) members will not support this clear PR (public relations) stunt shameful for the reputation of UN 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 US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Thursday asked for the 15-member UN 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 procedural vote to block the meeting. A minimum of nine votes are needed to win such a vote and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes. UN diplomats said any attempt to stop the meeting on Monday would likely be defeated.

The UN 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.

Source: Reuters/vc

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