Western Nations at UN Warn Russia of 'Severe Cost' in Case of Aggression Against Ukraine
22:54 GMT 22.12.2021 (Updated: 20:11 GMT 19.10.2022)
© REUTERS / General Staff of the Armed ForceTanks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are seen during drills at an unknown location near the border of Crimea, Russia, in this handout picture released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine press service on 14 April 2021.
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United States, the European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and a number of other countries at the United Nations on Wednesday warned Russia of "severe cost" in case the latter advances on Ukraine.
"The UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Any further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and a severe cost in response," the countries said in a statement.
A total of 36 UN member states, including Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Ukraine issued the statement following a Russian-organized informal meeting of the UN Security Council on national minorities and glorification of Nazism in the Baltic states and Ukraine.
"The timing of this Arria-formula meeting is especially troubling, coming against the backdrop of Russian military build-up on the Crimean Peninsula and on Ukraine’s borders," the statement read.
The countries said they regretted Russia’s "misuse" of the issue of racism and xenophobia in a Security Council’s meeting to distort history for its political purposes and promote disinformation.
"This is a deliberate attempt yet again to divert the international community’s attention from Russia’s own ongoing violations of international law, including violations of international human rights law, and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms," the statement said.
The countries called on Russia to stop its alleged disinformation campaign against Ukraine, lower tensions around it and immediately withdraw the forces it has purportedly stationed in the country.
21 December 2021, 10:43 GMT
Russia stands accused of allegedly deploying troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for an invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied those accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security. Russia has also said it has the right to move forces within its own territory.