Watch Live: US & Russia Square Off In Rare UN Security Council Debate


The UN Security Council in New York is set to meet at 10am EST after the US demanded that Moscow "explain itself" over what Washington has for weeks asserted is "imminent" plans to "invade" Ukraine. 

"Our voices are unified in calling for the Russians to explain themselves," Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the US Sunday news shows. "We’re going into the room prepared to listen to them, but we’re not going to be distracted by their propaganda.

But voices aren't exactly "unified" on the 15-member council, given especially China's stance. Lately Beijing has issued rare condemnation of NATO's history of expansion and has called for calm. 

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters late last week that "China and Russia see each other as a priority in our respective diplomacy. There is no ceiling to China-Russia mutual trust, no forbidden zone in our strategic cooperation and no limit on how far our longstanding friendship can go."

Russia has denounced Monday's meeting as a "shameful public-relations stunt" orchestrated by the US:

“I can’t recall another occasion when a SC member proposed to discuss its own baseless allegations and assumptions as a threat to intl order from someone else,” wrote Dmitry Polyanski, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the U.N., Friday on Twitter.

WATCH THE MEETING LIVE HERE:

Moscow is expected to for the first time lay out its case condemning NATO's eastward expansion, which threatens Russia's security, before a large Western and global audience. 

As The Wall Street Journal points out Monday, the debate could also serve as a barometer gauging Western allies' appetite for imposing extensive sanctions or even military action...

"In addition to Russia, China and other countries often oppose U.S. priorities at the U.N. A former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said Thursday that a challenge on the Security Council is accurately calculating the extent of support for the U.S. position among other members, especially on this kind of sensitive issue," WSJ observes.

Planet Today

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