Canada's UN mission edits and adds multiple remarks to March 16 missive from Russia's UN envoy, sparking a spat on Twitter between both sides.

Canada's UN mission added multiple remarks to the March 16 missive from Russia's UN ambassador, sparking a Twitter spat.
Canada's UN mission added multiple remarks to the March 16 missive from Russia's UN ambassador, sparking a Twitter spat. (Twitter/ @CanadaUN)

Russia has accused Canada of childishly annotating a letter it sent at the United Nations seeking support for its draft resolution on providing aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine, which Ottawa reacted to with pointed comments.

Canada's UN mission added multiple remarks to the March 16 missive from Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, sparking a Twitter spat on Thursday.

"Thank you @CanadaONU for this kindergarten-level Russophobic libel!" Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter.

"It only shows that your diplomatic skills and good manners are at lowest ebb and gives an idea why your country’s bid for a non-permanent seat in #SecurityCouncil was voted down twice in 20yrs by UN membership," Polyanskiy said, adding a thumbs-down emoji.

Polyanskiy was reacting to a tweet by the Canadian mission to the UN which carried the missive edits.

"Thank you @RussiaUN for your letter dated March 16. Please see our suggested edits below. #StandWithUkraine #RespectTheCharter," the mission tweeted.

Canada's UN mission annotated one part of the Russian letter that read: "Like other members of the international community, we are gravely concerned about its deterioration."

Canada's UN mission crossed out the first few words and changed the rest to read: "We are not gravely concerned about its deterioration," and inserted at the end "because we are the primary cause."

In a later section, Canada asked: "Do you think the UN membership actually believes this?" On the final page, Canada suggested part of an alternative end: "We want you to know just how little we care about the human life we have destroyed."

No vote at UNSC 

The UN Security Council will no longer vote on Friday on the draft resolution.

Diplomats said it would have failed with most of the 15-member council likely to abstain from a vote on it because it did not address accountability or acknowledge Russia's incursion of Ukraine or push for an end to the fighting or a withdrawal of Russian troops.

Relations between Russia and several Western nations continue to plummet to new lows since Moscow launched its offensive on Ukraine on February 24.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his forces are engaged in a "special military operation" in Ukraine but Kiev and its allies call it a full-scale "invasion" over which they have imposed expansive sanctions on Russia. 

Source: Reuters