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UN Security Council Debates Alleged Russian Threat, as U.K. and U.S. Want ‘Mother of All Sanctions’

Jan. 31, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council met at the call of the United States today, to discuss the situation around Ukraine and the deployment of Russian troops near its borders. The United States no doubt hoped to gang up against Russia by bringing in some of the smaller members of the council in support of America’s position. There were those who joined that crowd, like Albania and Ghana, but the overall debate probably didn’t go exactly the way the United States wanted. China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun told the Council that China opposed calling the meeting by America and Britain as a measure which mitigated against a diplomatic solution to the situation.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia again reiterated that Russia had no intent to invade Ukraine. He also underlined the fact that relations with Ukraine would have remained very brotherly and friendly, except for the 2014 coup that brought to power extremists, fascists and Russophobes, which proceeded to create divisive policies against the use of the Russian language and a split in the Orthodox Church. He also remarked that the increase of arms being provided to Ukraine may later be used by them against their fellow countrymen in Donbas. He also went through the multiple deployments of U.S. forces throughout the world, the amount of money the U.S. spends on military forces, etc. Not least, Nebenzia emphasized that the U.S. made no mention of the Minsk agreements, which would actually resolve the Ukraine crisis: “As for the calls to settle the crisis around Ukraine, we are all in favor of that. But there is only one dimension to that crisis—the internal Ukrainian dimension. The situation can be improved only once Kiev implements the Minsk Agreements that I already mentioned and that envisage a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk in the first place,” Nebenzia said.

France, while expressing concern about the Russian deployment, underlined the need for the Normandy format in order to resolve the situation. Many of the other countries, like Kenya, Mexico, the U.A.E. and others also underlined the need for negotiations. Kenya’s ambassador also noted that the real issue was not Ukraine, but U.S.-Russia relations. He referred to the Cold War, which often became a “hot war” in Africa. He also referred to the Helsinki agreements, and called for a renewal and upgrading of such agreements, which this time would include assurances for “non-interference” also for the nations of Africa.

At the same time as this concerted U.K.-U.S. attack, British and U.S. financial sanctions against Russia were being pushed forward. In the Senate, the “mother of all sanctions” was described by its sponsors, chair Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and ranking member James Risch (R-ID), as being “on the 1-yard line” to pass out of committee. Menendez told CBS News, “There is an incredible bipartisan resolve for support of Ukraine and ... to have severe consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine and in some cases for what it has already done.” British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Liz Truss on Sunday unveiled legislation “targeting Russian banks, energy companies and oligarchs close to the Kremlin,” she said.

The Hill reported,

“Menendez’s bill would target Russian officials and financial institutions if President Biden determines Russia has invaded or engaged in a significant ‘escalation of hostilities’ against Ukraine. The bill also authorizes sanctions on companies in Russia that offer secure messaging systems such as SWIFT, the international system by which banks communicate, and includes additional security assistance and provisions to help Ukraine push back against Russian disinformation.”

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