News / Europe

UN Chief Heads to Moscow, Kyiv

FILE - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
FILE - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council discussed the Ukrainian crisis Wednesday, as the U.N. Secretary-General headed to Moscow and Kyiv to try to promote a diplomatic solution.  

 In the Security Council’s first meeting on Ukraine since Crimea voted Sunday to secede and join Russia, council members expressed their strong condemnation of the hastily called vote which was watched over by thousands of Russian troops.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said this crisis has never been about protecting the rights of ethnic Russians as Moscow claims, but about redrawing Russia’s borders to include Crimea.

“The United States rejects Russia’s military intervention and land grab in Crimea.  These actions, again, violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Russia’s own binding agreements, international law, the expressed will of most members of this council, and the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter," said Power.

She also criticized Moscow, telling the council that “a thief can steal property, but that does not confer the right of ownership on the thief.”

Britain’s envoy, Mark Lyall Grant, said Russia has annexed part of a sovereign, independent country through the use of military force.

“The Permanent Representative of Russia spoke about this process being in compliance with international law, without outside interference and through a democratic process.  It is hard to know which of these three assertions is the biggest lie," said Lyall Grant.

France’s ambassador, Gérard Araud, criticized Russian claims of proposals to resolve the crisis.  

“The proposal of the Russian Federation is simple: What’s mine is mine - Crimea is mine - and we can talk about what’s yours - that’s Ukrainian sovereignty - that’s the Russian proposal," said Araud.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin denied Ukrainian accusations that Russian troops fatally shot a Ukrainian soldier Tuesday in the port city of Sevastopol.  He said Kyiv planned the provocation so it could tell its troops to fire against Russian soldiers.  
“Today a few of my colleagues referred to an alleged attack on a Ukrainian base.  I can tell you again, there has been no attack on any base.  There weren’t even any Russian soldiers present.  Those who were there were unarmed, wearing bulletproof jackets only, members of the self-defense forces," said Churkin.

He also accused senior U.N. human rights official Ivan Simonovic of giving a “one-sided assessment” of the human rights situation on the ground following his nine-day visit to Ukraine.

Simonovic told the Security Council that while there were some cases of Russians who were harassed or attacked, they were “neither widespread nor systemic.”  Simonovic said a team of 34 monitors has begun deploying to Ukraine.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon departed for Moscow Wednesday afternoon.  He will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday and then go to Ukraine for meetings with interim leaders on Friday.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jean-marc from: France
March 20, 2014 11:23 AM
Russia broke the international law by invading Ukraine just as Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 pretexting the protection of the Ethnic Germans in the Sudetes region. For this reason, I suggest the UN general Assembly to organize a vote to oust Russia out of the organization of civilized nations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More