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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

UN to vote on Ukraine's territorial integrity; Russia is amassing near border

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Yuriy Sergeyev, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Nations

Ukraine anticipates that the U.N. General Assembly will pass a resolution on March 27 expressing support to the country’s territorial integrity and calling the referendum that led to Russia’s annexation of its Crimean Peninsula unlawful.

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev has said that the resolution has several dozen co-sponsors and support from democratic countries in the world — but he wouldn’t predict the majority of the positive vote, The Associated Press and The New York Times report.

Countering support to Ukraine, Russia has mounted a campaign against the resolution, saying the dispute is an East-West issue.

In difference from resolutions in the Security Council, resolutions in the 193-member General Assembly cannot be vetoed and are not legally binding, nevertheless they do reflect world opinion.

Russia amassing forces that could seek land grabs even in Baltics

A new U.S. intelligence assessment found that a Russian incursion into eastern Ukraine is more likely than previously thought. U.S. officials believe the Russian buildup gives Moscow the ability to move rapidly into Ukraine, CNN reports.

Two Obama administration officials described the classified assessment to CNN but sought anonymity. The officials emphasize that nothing is certain, but in the last three to four days, there have been several worrying signs.

«This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be,» one official said. The Russian buildup is said to be reminiscent of Moscow’s military moves prior to incursions into Chechnya and Georgia in both the number of units and their capabilities.

Russian forces are currently located in and around Rostov, Kursk and Belgorod, according to U.S. intelligence information. The estimated 30,000 troops are significantly more” than what is needed for the military exercises Russia says it has been performing.

Additional intelligence suggests that more Russian forces are reinforcing the border region, both Obama administration officials have told CNN.

U.S. military and intelligence officials have been briefing Congress on the new assessment. As a result, the House Armed Services Committee on March 26 sent a classified letter to the White House expressing concern about unfolding developments.

An unclassified version quoted by CNN indicates that committee members feel «urgency and alarm, based on new information in the committee’s possession.» The committee expressed an opinion that there is «deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to (Transnistria) and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.»

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