Ukraine asks UN to stop Russian ‘aggression’

The chamber of the UN Security Council in New York City (photo credit: CC BY-SA Gruban/Flickr/File)

US ambassador Power calls on Russia to withdraw its forces; Ban Ki-moon urges dialogue in phone call to Putin

Times of Israel

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations asked an emergency session of the Security Council on Saturday “to do everything possible now” to stop Russia’s “aggression” as its troops took over the strategic Crimea region.

But action by the UN’s most powerful body appears unlikely. As a permanent member, Russia has veto power and can block the council from adopting any resolution criticizing or sanctioning Moscow.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call to “urgently engage in direct dialogue with the authorities” in Kiev.

Calling the situation in Ukraine “as dangerous as it is destabilizing,” US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told the council, “It is time for the Russian military intervention in Ukraine to end.”

Power and other members of the council called for sending international monitors to Ukraine as soon as possible to observe the situation, and Power warned that “Russia’s provocative actions could easily push the situation beyond the breaking point.” She also mentioned work on an international mediation mission to send to Ukraine.

The Security Council met in emergency session for the second straight day on the rapidly developing events in Ukraine. It even met briefly in an open, televised session, despite objections from Russia, then resumed meeting behind closed doors.

Current council president, Luxembourg Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, said members stressed the importance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the need to lower tensions, in addition to the need for international monitors.

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the new government in Kiev needs to get away from “radicals” and warned that “such actions they’re taking could lead to very difficult developments, which the Russian Federation is trying to avoid.”

Churkin also accused the West of interfering in the recent Kiev demonstrations that turned violent amid tensions over the decision by Ukraine’s now-fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, to turn Ukraine toward Russia, its longtime patron, instead of the European Union.

Russia has given refuge to Yanukovych, who fled a week ago.

Churkin said Russia was intervening at the request of pro-Russian authorities in the semi-autonomous Crimea, which is largely Russian-speaking and home to Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who called for Saturday’s meeting, told reporters afterward that “there is no justification for Russia’s military activities in the last 48 hours.”

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson called the situation in Ukraine “very difficult and very dangerous” and said they were seeing “negative signs, serious signs, risks of escalation.”

Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev, asked the other four permanent Security Council members — the US, Britain, France and China — for help, adding that Russia had rejected Ukraine’s proposal to hold immediate bilateral consultations.

When asked later whether Ukraine is at war with Russia, Sergeyev said, “No. We are not at war. We are trying to avoid any clashes. We are being provoked.”

Ban, the UN chief, said earlier Saturday that he is “gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation” in Ukraine and called for “full respect for and preservation of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the country.

Ban later spoke by telephone with Putin, and a statement from Ban’s office said, “It is crucial to restore calm and proceed to an immediate de-escalation of the situation.”

Cool heads must prevail, and dialogue must be the only tool in ending this crisis,” Ban said.

Ban planned to meet Sunday in Geneva with his special envoy Robert Serry, the Netherlands’ first ambassador to Ukraine.

Ban on Friday asked Serry to go to Crimea as part of a fact-finding mission. However, after consulting with authorities in the region, Serry decided that a visit was not possible.

Lyall Grant said his understanding was that Serry couldn’t go because airspace above Crimea has been closed. Eliasson called the decision “purely logistical.”

  1. #1 by Bruce Mullen on 03/02/2014 - 9:34

    There is no reason other than a complete ignorance of history for anyone not to know what is really happening in the Ukraine for what is happening there, the attempted conquest of another country by the US and /or NATO, has just happened in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria. Somalia, The Sudan and Afghanistan and was destined to happen in Iran until Putin put a stop to it. Both Great Britain and the US are following well know plans written by Sir Halford Mackinder “ The Geographical Pivot of History” in 1904 which outlined the conquests that Great Britain needed to do to remain a world power and which became the blue print for the British creation WW1; and Zbigniew Brzezinski ‘s book “ The Grand Chessboard in which he advised the US to conquer every country from Yugoslavia to Iran and beyond to remain the world’s only super power. Both authors rightly claimed that most of the wealth of the world can be found in what they called Eurasia and it was imperative that Great Britain and now the US conquer and control this area to remain number one. And that is exactly what these two countries have done for over a hundred years and will, no doubt , try to continue to do until we all perish in an atomic war.

  2. #2 by Isaac on 03/02/2014 - 9:34

    Why doesn’t that woman Samantha Power say “Send International Monitoring to Palestine” to see how the parasites have treated those human beings for more than 60 years.

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