Russia calls UN chief to criticize actions of Ukrainian government in Slavyansk

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Russia has called upon the UN Secretary General to criticize the actions of Ukrainian government in southeastern Ukraine, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said during a TV broadcast.

“I phoned the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to deliver a public speech criticizing the actions of Ukrainian government in the south-east of Ukraine. I informed him of the situation and said that it was important to follow the implementation of the Geneva communiqué of April 17,” Churkin said, while commenting on the military operation in the city of Slavyansk.

“Ukrainian government should show that it intends to follow the Geneva agreement. So, there is still a chance to return to the fulfillment of the Geneva agreement. Anyway, there is no other efficient way of resolving the crisis,” he added.

“The West thinks that Russia should do everything for the people of the south-east region of Ukraine. However, Ukrainian government itself should begin to act in the right way. It promised to elaborate a new constitution that will take into account the opinions of all regions of the country…It also promised to amnesty the protestors, but the latter are still in prisons,” Churkin said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warns Ukraine crisis could ‘spin out of control’

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that the crisis in Ukraine threatened to “spin out of control” and urged all sides to “refrain from violence”. “The secretary general is deeply concerned about continued violence in eastern Ukraine, which has led to loss of life, further instability and which is contributing to a climate of fear and anxiety,” Ban said in a statement released by his office. “As the stakes are now so high, the secretary general is seriously concerned that the situation could quickly spin out of control with consequences we cannot predict,” he added.

“Military action must be avoided at all costs,” Ban continued, urging all sides “to immediately refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions and find a way forward toward de-escalation.”

Ban’s comments came as Ukraine’s military launched assaults to retake rebel-held eastern towns.

The offensive, which killed at least five people, sent international tensions soaring and oil prices up, raising the prospect of Russia making good on its threat of a massive response in the ex-Soviet republic.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urges to prevent military action in Ukraine by any means – UN spokesperson

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the conflicting sides in Ukraine to prevent the escalation of armed clashes between government forces and protesters in the country’s southeast, a UN spokesperson said Thursday.

“Military actions must be avoided at all costs,” Farhan Haq cited the UN chief as saying. The official said Ban Ki-moon also appealed to all sides of the conflict to curb violence, threats and provocative actions and find ways to de-escalate tensions in the current standoff.

Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the coup-imposed Kiev government of failing to comply with the April 17 accord reached in Geneva, calling on the sides in the standoff to refrain from violence.

Kiev resumed Thursday the crackdown on pro-federalization activists in Kharkov, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian authorities and demand referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

In violation of the Geneva deal, up to seven civilians were killed or wounded in an army assault on a protester checkpoint in Slavyansk early Thursday.

The Kremlin immediately condemned the move saying that the use of military forces against the civilians by Kiev authorities is a serious crime putting in doubt the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine.

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