Members of the United Nations Security Council have urged Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine. But Russia rejected the call, citing a threat from Ukraine.
The council held the year's first emergency meeting on the Ukrainian situation on Friday at the request of the United States and other countries. Japan, a non-permanent member, holds the council's presidency this month.
Member nations criticized Russia for continuing attacks on civilian infrastructure during the New Year period.
Japan's Ambassador to the UN Ishikane Kimihiro said innocent civilians in Ukraine have been exposed to strikes even during the New Year holidays.
He added that destruction of energy infrastructure has seriously aggravated the humanitarian situation in the harsh winter.
Ishikane said, "Any continuation of these attacks is completely unacceptable." He urged Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized North Korea as well as Russia, accusing the North of delivering arms to the Russian military company Wagner Group, which is fighting in Ukraine.
She said, "As we start this year, the world is tired of war." She also said, "Now is the time for all countries to stand together and demand that Russia end this senseless war."
But Russia's Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia justified what his country calls a special military operation by saying the opportunity to end it "will only present itself once Ukraine stops posing a threat to Russia."