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Activists hold a rally to support the possible military incursions of the Russian army onto the territory of Crimea to defend Russian citizens and speakers living in Ukraine, near the consulate of Ukraine in St. Petersburg, Monday. The banner reads "Sevastopol is a Russian city". (REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev)

Russia calls for urgent U.N. Security Council session on Ukraine

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will hold its third emergency meeting on the crisis in Ukraine on Monday, this time at the request of Russia as Moscow continues to tighten its military hold on the eastern part of the former Soviet republic, diplomats said.

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A diplomat from Luxembourg, president of the 15-nation council this month, said the meeting would take place at 3:30 p.m. EST. Other diplomats said the meeting was being convened at the request of Russia.

The council met on Friday and Saturday to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine but took no formal action, as expected. Both meetings highlighted the deep divisions between the United States and other Western nations and Russia, which has a major Black Sea naval base in the Crimea region.

At Friday's session, Ukraine accused Russia of illegal military incursions onto Ukrainian territory, while U.S. and European delegations warned Moscow to withdraw any new military forces deployed in neighboring Ukraine.

Russia, however, said any military movements by Russian forces there were in compliance with its agreement with Kiev on maintaining its naval base there. On Saturday, the United States called for international observers to be deployed to Ukraine.

Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council and, therefore, can block any actions proposed by its members.

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