Violence in eastern Ukraine prompts call from UN chief for immediate de-escalation

Written by on April 24, 2014 in Europe - Comments Off on Violence in eastern Ukraine prompts call from UN chief for immediate de-escalation

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon 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, his spokesperson said on April 24, according to the UN News Centre.

“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,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

According to media reports, tensions in Ukraine escalated sharply on April 24, with Russia embarking on new military drills near the border after Ukrainian forces said they killed five pro-Russian militants.

The United Nations chief emphasised “in the strongest terms” the necessity for all parties to honour their commitments under the Geneva Statement, which was issued last week following a meeting between the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia.

At that meeting, participants agreed to a series of steps to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine that reportedly include demobilizing militias and vacating seized Government buildings.

“Military action must be avoided at all costs,” Ban’s spokesperson said, as quoted by the UN News Centre.

“The Secretary-General calls on all sides to immediately refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions and find a way forward toward de-escalation.

(UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

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