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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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