Ukraine crisis: UN Security Council to meet on Monday

AFP , Monday 3 Mar 2014

Members of the security council attend a meeting about the crisis in Ukraine, at the UN headquarters in New York on March 1, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The UN Security Council is to hold the latest in a series of emergency meetings on the crisis in Ukraine later on Monday at the request of Russia.

Luxembourg, which holds the chairmanship of the council, plans to convene the meeting at 3:30 pm (2030 GMT), diplomats said.

This will be the council's third emergency meeting in four days on Ukraine, where the government says Russian troops are still pouring into Crimea, in violation of international accords.

Saturday, a meeting of the envoys from council's 15 member states ended in disagreement between the West and Russia, with Washington and London urging Moscow to pull back its military reinforcements from the strategic Black Sea peninsula with a majority ethnic Russian population.

Saturday's open meeting also resulted in a two-hour standoff over procedure as Moscow fought the presence of cameras and of Ukraine.

According to a diplomat on the council, Russia "was taken aback Saturday and wants to give its read on events, especially as things go south on the ground."

Meanwhile, Russia's top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva on Monday strongly denounced the threat of "sanctions and boycotts" following Moscow's actions in Ukraine, as Western powers ponder whether to kick Moscow out of the G8.

Lavrov repeated accusations that the new Ukrainian government was threatening the lives of ethnic Russians and defended the creation of self-defense groups to protect the Russian and Russian-speaking population.

The Russian parliament gave its blessing Saturday to use force in Ukraine, including in Crimea -- a strategic Black Sea peninsula with a majority ethnic Russian population.

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