Russia and West clash over Ukraine at Security Council meeting ahead of war anniversary

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People lay toys and flowers on the tombs of a family killed in a fire when Russian drone hit their home in residential neighbourhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Feb 12. Seven people including three underage children were killed on Saturday in the Russian drone attack. (AP)

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 13, (AP): Russia accused the West on Monday of sabotaging agreements that would have prevented the war in Ukraine – but the US and its allies put the blame squarely on Moscow, saying there is no escaping that President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of its smaller neighbor.
Days before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion on Feb 24, 2022, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia again put the cause of the war down to the failure to implement the 2015 Minsk agreements, which he blamed on “Kyiv’s sabotage” supported by the West.
The agreements aimed to resolve the conflict between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists that flared in April 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for the separatists in the mostly Russian-speaking industrial east called Donbas.
At Monday’s Security Council meeting that Russia called on the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Minsk peace plan brokered by France and Germany, Nebenzia called claims by Ukraine and Western nations that Russia refused to implement the agreements “absolutely baseless.”
Had the Minsk agreements been implemented, Nebenzia said, “the tragedy that has taken place in Ukraine today would not have happened, a tragedy in which the US and the collective West are complicit as they try to achieve their geopolitical aims at the cost of Ukraine and the lives of its citizens.”
US deputy ambassador Robert Wood accused Russia of putting forward “significant myths and disinformation” in its efforts to rewrite history after it invaded a sovereign nation in violation of the UN Charter.
“Moscow has called us together today to lament the very violence it began, fueled and it continues to perpetrate daily,” he said.
Wood told the council Russia negotiated and signed the Minsk agreements but “ignored all commitments it made.”
“It is Russia that is the aggressor and Ukraine which is simply defending its people, its territorial integrity, and its freedom,” the US envoy said.

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