The UN Security Council has blocked consideration of the issue of Russia on the situation in the Kerch Strait.
Four countries voted for consideration of the agenda, seven against, four more abstained. This comes as previously, U.S Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley stated earlier today that:
“An emergency Security Council meeting has been called for tomorrow at 11:00am,” Nikki Haley tweeted, sharing an earlier tweet by Nolan Peterson, a correspondent who has long covered events in Ukraine.
Peterson’s tweet read:
“This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real.”
The announcement comes as Poroshenko is actively considering the move to impose martial law, a move that would push back an upcoming election that would likely see his defeat, perhaps indefinitely. As FRN reported earlier, Russian coast guard ships opened fire on a group of vessels of the Ukrainian Navy – two small-sized ‘Berdiansk’ and ‘Nikopol’ armored artillery boats and the ‘Yany Kapu’ tugboat – as they were violating Russian maritime space near Kerch Strait on Sunday evening.
As a result, Haley will not be having her desired UN Security Council resolution turn out as hoped, and this effectively preempts any diplomatic charade and ‘time-wasting’ maneuver at the UN. Any US backed initiative that disregarded the status of Russia’s maritime borders would have been vetoed by at least two of the permanent members, and any initiative backed by Russia would be vetoed at the US.
At first, it appears as though Haley got her way – but she was the one trapped in a box of confusion of her own making. For it is Kiev, which lost the Azov crisis, that needs international mediation in order to squeeze concessions from Russia. It is not Russia that needed anything from the UNSC, even as it was Russia that called the meeting.
This is the only rational way to understand the Russian representatives feigned words of disapproval at Haley’s ‘wish’ being granted. For what was granted was Russia avoiding a formalized procedure at the UNSC where the U.S would make any proposal, and while it would have been doomed to be vetoed, it could have made the usual ‘made for home viewers’ drama and spectacle of the matter.
Given Haley’s history at the UN with heavy-handed and dishonorable practices – famously lying to other diplomats about the possibility of the U.S invading North Korea – it is also possible that her credibility is very low and her colleagues would have little reason to gain any currency with the out-going U.S diplomat.
While Russia went through the motions of calling the UNSC meeting, this was merely necessary for the historical record. It was clear from the start that Haley would veto any binding resolution.
An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the crisis in the Kerch Strait began with a back-and-forth between the representatives of Russia and the United States.
US Representative to the UN Nikki Haley, in an act of ‘penny-wise, pound-foolishness’ urged the UNSC not to consider the interpretation of events proposed by Russia, which provided for the accusation of Ukraine of violating the borders of the Russian Federation.
Haley said that the United States regards the Crimea and the waters around it as Ukrainian territory.
“We strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders,” she said, calling the incident near Kerch “Russian provocation” and “dangerous escalation in violation of international law”.
The Americans were answered by Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy to the UN.
“On November 25, the Kiev regime created a direct threat to international peace and security, by ordering the Ukrainian Navy to carry out aggressive provocation against the state border of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Polyansky stressed that the violation was carried out “by rather dangerous methods – maneuvering in a fairly narrow strait – created risks for the normal movement of vessels in this area.”
“Of course, such banditry must be stopped, and the international community must understand where Kiev’s actions lead,” said the representative of the Russian Federation.
Then the chairperson put on the agenda of the meeting proposed by Russia, and she, at the call of the United States, did not get the required number of votes.
“The states claiming independence and independence in foreign policy, obeying the herd instinct and fearing Washington’s elder brothers, support a scenario contrary to the principles of the work of the Security Council,” commented Polyansky.
“You are discrediting the Security Council now, just as the Ukrainians, by their provocative undertakings, discredit the General Assembly,” the representative of the Russian Federation added.
In short, through Haley’s maneuvers at the UN, pushing against the UN addressing this issue, she – in reality – forfeited the U.S being able to lay out a concrete and coherent argument against Russia’s action, for the historical record, posterity, or as a justification for future actions.