UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council is expected to meet in an emergency meeting on Saturday to vote on a draft resolution, drawn up by the United States and backed by the Western countries, on Ukraine, diplomats and UN officials said here Friday.
"There will be an open meeting of the Security Council tomorrow, Saturday 15 March 2014 at 11:00 a.m., in the Security Council Chamber," the UN Spokesperson's Office said in a message to reporters here.
The open council meeting, set to kick off at 11:00 EDT (1500 GMT), was called at the request of the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations, which is firmly against the March 16 referendum on the status of the Russian-speaking Crimea, diplomats said.
Russia, one of the five permanent council members, is expected to veto the resolution, which intends to declare that the planned referendum in Crimea "can have no validity," and urge nations and international organizations not to recognize it, diplomats said, citing the draft resolution.
The council meeting comes after talks in London between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the Ukrainian crisis made no progress on Friday.
Earlier Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that "it is clear that we are at a crossroads" in the Ukrainian crisis and "if positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is great risk of a dangerous downward spiral."
The interim Ukrainian government insists the referendum is unconstitutional since a Ukrainian-wide ballot was necessary for such secession.
Moscow does not recognize the interim government of Ukraine.