UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations called Russia’s decision to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics as independent an attack on Ukraine’s status as a member state of the United Nations.
“It is an attack on Ukraine status as a UN member state. It violates a basic principle of international law, and it defies our charter. What is more, this move by President Putin is clearly the basis for Russia's attempt to create a pretext for a further invasion of Ukraine,” Thomas-Greenfield said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council she requested in response to Putin’s decision.
The US ambassador said she did not believe the troops would be deployed there on a peaceful mission, at one point suggesting that Putin "wants the world to travel back in time" to a "time when empires ruled the world.
“He has since announced that he will place Russian troops in these regions. He calls them peacekeepers. This is nonsense. We know what they really are,” she said.
The ambassador also took the opportunity to accuse Putin of destroying the Minsk agreements, saying that the Russian leader "has torn the Minsk agreement to shreds."
"We have been clear that we do not believe he will stop on that. In light of President Putin's latest actions, we must all stand up for the principles upon which this organization was founded," Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council.
Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of reneging on their commitments under the Minsk agreements while saying that Moscow itself was never a party to the accords but rather a mediator.