Russia decries U.S. 'insults' at United Nations

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

UNITED NATIONS — Russia and the United States exchanged threats on Wednesday in a tense U.N. Security Council meeting over the Ukraine crisis, with the Russian envoy saying the U.S. ambassador's “insults” are jeopardizing Moscow's willingness to cooperate with Washington on other diplomatic matters.

It was the council's eighth meeting in three weeks on Ukraine, a show of determination by Western powers, even if the council is powerless to act because of Moscow's veto power as a permanent council member.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left for Russia and Ukraine in a bid to seek a diplomatic way out of the crisis.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin celebrated the treaty signed a day earlier by President Vladimir Putin declaring Crimea part of Russia.

“Yesterday, something truly historic happened,” Churkin declared.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power warned Russia, two days after the West imposed sanctions, that the United States and its allies “are prepared to take additional steps.” She compared Russia's takeover of Crimea with theft.

“A thief can steal property, but that does not confer the right of ownership on the thief,” she said.

The Russian ambassador shot back: “It is simply unacceptable to listen to these insults addressed to our country.”

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