US ambassador labels UN meeting on Ukraine an ‘absolute success’

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Tuesday characterized the recent U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine as an “absolute success.”

During the meeting on Monday, Thomas-Greenfield sought to rally international support against Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border, labeling Moscow’s recent actions a “threat to peace and security.”

Appearing on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Thomas-Greenfield said, “Russia heard from the world that they agreed with us. They tried to stop this meeting. They called for a vote, and they did not win. The council voted to hear from Russia. The council voted to discuss this issue openly and publicly, so it clearly was not a failure.”

“For us, it was an absolute success, in the sense that we allowed the world to hear what we’ve been hearing from the Russians and we were able to refute their dissemination and their propaganda campaign,” she added.

When asked how the public meeting affected efforts to resolve tensions through quiet diplomacy, Thomas-Greenfield said it was “one more diplomatic effort to give the Russians an opportunity to explain what they are doing on the border with Ukraine.”

“We are continuing to relentlessly engage with them diplomatically,” said the ambassador.

The meeting came following weeks of diplomacy spearheaded by the U.S. and its allies and partners in Europe to stave off Russian threats to Ukraine that have escalated since mid-November, with Moscow amassing more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border.

Russia denies that it has plans to invade but has issued security ultimatums to the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that include denying Ukraine any entrance to the alliance in the future and committing to never placing offensive arms in the former Soviet state.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled to speak over the phone on Tuesday. On Monday, the State Department confirmed that Russia had delivered a written response to the U.S.’s proposal for de-escalating tensions, though the contents of the letter were not disclosed.


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