Russia-Ukraine live updates: U.S. will sanction Putin as Russian forces close in on Kyiv

Russia-Ukraine live updates: U.S. will sanction Putin as Russian forces close in on Kyiv

The U.N. Security Council did not adopt a U.S.-backed resolution condemning the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday after Russia vetoed the measure, but Beijing’s decision to abstain was seen as an achievement for the United States.

Eleven countries voted in favor of the proposed measure, which would have required Russia to immediately withdraw forces from Ukraine. Three nations abstained: China, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking after the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield described Russia as reckless and irresponsible for launching this week’s military operation.

“Russia, you can veto this resolution, but you cannot veto our voices,” she said. “You cannot veto the Ukrainian people, you cannot veto the U.N. charter, and you will not veto accountability.”

The high-stakes session represented a test of the Biden administration’s ability to sway countries that have appeared to remain on the fence amid President Vladimir Putin’s operation, which U.S. officials say aims to replace Ukraine’s elected government.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called the resolution “anti-Russian” and unbalanced, accusing the West of ignoring what he called “blood-chilling crimes” by the government in Kyiv.

The resolution would have also required Russia to reverse its official recognition of breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been battling government forces since 2014. It also called for facilitation of humanitarian aid.

Richard Gowan, a U.N. expert at the International Crisis Group, said China’s abstention would be a relief to the United States.

“The U.S. and its allies watered down the language of the resolution today precisely to keep China on board,” he said after the vote. “I wouldn’t mistake China’s abstention as a real blow to Russia though. Moscow knows that China is keeping its head down, and won’t take any serious action against it.”

The Emirati representative, Lana Nusseibeh, called the vote a “foregone conclusion.”

Read More

[an error occurred while processing the directive]