The UN Security Council on Friday opened a session on Russia's annexations of Ukrainian territory, with Moscow certain to veto a US-backed resolution of condemnation.
"This is exactly what the Security Council was made to do. Defend sovereignty, protect territorial integrity, promote peace and security," the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said at the start of the meeting.
"The United Nations was built on an idea that never again would one country be allowed to take another's territory by force," she said.
The resolution, co-sponsored by the United States and Albania, would condemn the "illegal" referendums held in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine and call on all states not to recognize any changes to Ukraine's borders.
It also calls on Russia to withdraw troops immediately from Ukraine, ending an invasion launched on February 24.
The Security Council, led by France, went ahead with the session despite certainly that Russia -- one of five permanent members -- will veto it.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier Friday said that the United States would seek a vote at the General Assembly.
"If Russia blocks the Security Council from carrying out its responsibilities, we'll ask the UN General Assembly, where every country has a vote, to make clear that it's unacceptable to redraw borders by force," Blinken told reporters in Washington.
"Every country has a stake in condemning these steps," he said.
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