UNSC convenes its second urgent session this week for Ukraine crises

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- As the United Nations Security Council convened its second urgent session this week on the situation in Ukraine, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told its members that “although a numbers of areas in the country remain calm, we have seen a further severe deterioration of the situation in parts of Eastern and Southern Ukraine.”

He noted recent violence in Sloviansk and said “recent development in those areas threaten to further destabilization of the country and the region as well as the unity of Ukraine itself.”

He reiterated the Secretary-General’s appeal for the release of the detained OSCE monitors.

Feltman also noted that the Secretary-General has asked him to travel to Moscow and Kyiv next week, where he will meet with senior officials and international partners to promote de-escalation and work toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine.

He will be carrying a strong message from the Secretary-General that all actors need to exercise utmost caution to prevent the extremely fragile situation from spinning out of control. He will also stress the need for a return to diplomacy and highlight the willingness of the United Nations to play a good offices role.

Speaking to the members of the Security Council, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine Oleksandr Pavlichenko said “free and fair presidential elections on May 25 remain a top priority of the Government of Ukraine.’

He added “we reject all attempts or Russia to blame the government of Ukraine for allegedly failing to implement the agreements and we state that despite the numerous calls from the international community the Russian Federation has taken no efforts to de-escalate the situation and implement Geneva Agreement.”

Pavlichenko also said “I would like to mention that tonight there were attempts to brake though the State’s border by groups of Russian armed saboteurs, who were stopped by our guards.”

He stressed “that is why Mr. President we call upon our Russian partners to immediately stop supporting all the illegal militants in the territory of Ukraine and other actions aimed at undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of my country.”

The Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Samantha Power stressed “what’s more important now is where do we go from here and what I would ask my Russian colleague is: will Russia make public statements and will it work public behind the scenes to urge Russian separatist to negotiate peacefully their departure from public buildings?.”

She also underlined “here we have a golden opportunity on May 25 for the people of Eastern Ukraine to have their voices heard for them to choose their own leaders for us to get to a universally legitimate government respected and chosen by all of the people of Ukraine and yet Russia would not come out in support of these elections and work with us to ensure that these elections take place, which would be the best way of ensuring rights, representativeness and more autonomy for the people of Eastern Ukraine.”

Regarding his proposal about a Security Council’s statement on this issue, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said “I think I will be good to end our meeting with that statement not ask every delegation what is going to declare, but rather make a statement all together that we are calling for swift halt to all violence including the use of military force in the East of the country and seriously take up the implementation of the Geneva document fully.”

In a statement released today, the Secretary-General reiterated his grave concern over the deteriorating situation in regions of east and south Ukraine.

Escalating violence and reported further loss of life in the city of Slovyansk today is a stark reminder of how dangerous the situation has become. Expansion of militia activities and ongoing seizures of public buildings by unidentified armed groups undercut the letter and spirit of the April 17 Geneva statement.

Ban Ki-moon urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint and appeals to those with grievances to voice them peacefully, so as to avoid more bloodshed. He also called for all parties to respect fully Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Secretary-General stressed that a diplomatic solution is the only way out of this crisis and that all sides must redouble their efforts to revive the spirit of compromise displayed during the 17 April Geneva talks.


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