The UN Security Council will not vote on Friday on a Russian-drafted appeal for aid access and civilian safety in Ukraine after Russia’s UN envoy accused Western countries of exerting “unprecedented pressure” against the initiative.
Most of the 15-member council would likely abstain from a vote on the draft resolution since it did not address accountability or recognize Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, nor did it call for a stop to the conflict or a withdrawal of Russian soldiers, according to diplomats.
On Thursday, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said, “Many colleagues from many delegations inform us about unprecedented pressure by Western partners, that their arms are being twisted, including blackmail and threats.”
“We certainly realize how difficult it is for those countries to sustain this type of onslaught,” Nebenzia said at a council meeting on Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis, which was requested by Western council members.
“The only people who conduct arm-twisting around here are the Russians, and they have to if they want to persuade anybody to support them,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told Reuters following the meeting.
Russia had instead urged that the council convene on Friday, the day before the decision, to examine “US bio-laboratories in Ukraine using the new papers we got in the course of the special military operation,” according to Nebenzia.
Last week, during a UN Security Council meeting on the same topic, which was also requested by Russia, Thomas Greenfield stated that the US does not support any Ukrainian biological weapons laboratories. The UN also stated that there was no proof that Ukraine had a biological weapons program.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is described as a “special military operation” aimed at the country’s military infrastructure. Moscow denies launching attacks on civilians.
Between February 24 and March 15, the UN human rights agency recorded 726 deaths, including 52 children, and 1,174 injuries, including 63 minors, according to UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo, who spoke to the Security Council on Thursday. She stated the “real figure is likely substantially higher,” but she didn’t say who was to blame.
“The majority of these deaths were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a large effective area in populated areas. Hundreds of residential buildings, as well as hospitals and schools, have been damaged or destroyed “According to DiCarlo.
“The number of civilians killed and civilian infrastructure destroyed in Ukraine cannot be overstated. This necessitates a comprehensive investigation and responsibility “she stated
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed the Security Council that the World Health Organization has verified 43 attacks on healthcare in Ukraine, which have killed 12 people and injured dozens more, including health personnel.
“Attacks on healthcare in any conflict are a breach of international humanitarian law,” Tedros told the council, without naming the perpetrators.