Ukraine calls for Security Council discussions on de-escalating tensions with Russia

Associated Press / Alex Brandon

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is calling for an immediate meeting of the United Nations Security Council aimed at de-escalating the current tensions with Russia. 

Kuleba tweeted that he was acting on behalf of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky soon after the Kremlin on Monday said Russian President Vladimir Putin will recognize as independent two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine, a move many fear could be a pretext for an invasion.

Kuleba asked the Security Council member states to “immediately hold consultations under article 6 of the Budapest memorandum” to discuss urgent actions aimed at de-escalation, as well as “practical steps to guarantee the security of Ukraine.”

Russia, however, has veto powers as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Kuleba added that “not only Ukraine, the entire world now closely follows Russia’s actions regarding the recognition of the so-called ‘L/DPR'” he said, referencing the separatist enclaves in Luhansk and Donetsk.

“Everyone realizes consequences. A lot of emotions out there, but it’s exactly now that we all should calmly focus on de-escalation efforts. No other way,” he said on Twitter.

Kuleba was referencing the memorandum signed after the fall of the Soviet Union in which Ukraine, which had the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal, agreed to sign it away in return for guarantees of its sovereignty and the sanctity of its borders, The Washington Post noted. 

Under Article 6 of the Budapest memorandum, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed in December 1994 that they would “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence,” the Post added. 

The Kremlin said in a statement Monday that Putin intends to sign a decree recognizing the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, which are in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, as independent. 

The New York Times reported that if Russia recognizes the two separatist enclaves, “it could allow separatist leaders to request military help from Russia, possibly paving the way for a military offensive.”

Up to 190,000 Russian soldiers are believed to have amassed near Ukraine’s borders, and President Biden and other White House officials have promised to impose harsh and swift sanctions on Russia should it move forward with an invasion.

Tags Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances Dmytro Kuleba Donetsk People's Republic Joe Biden Post-Soviet conflicts Russia Russo-Ukrainian War Ukraine Vladimir Putin War in Donbas

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