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Ban Ki-moon meets Putin, voices concern over events in Ukraine

March 20, 2014, 18:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Ban Ki-moon will try to launch a direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine during his visits to Moscow and Kiev on March 20-21
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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin

© EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. At his meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, March 20, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern about the latest events in Ukraine and Russia.

Ban Ki-moon noted Russia was one of the world leaders and major international actors. He thanked Putin for the opportunity to meet with him personally even though they had talked with each other by phone several times lately.

Ban Ki-moon will try to launch a direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine during his visits to Moscow and Kiev on March 20-21, his spokesperson Farhan Haq said ahead of the trip.

He said the main task was to start a direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev in order to agree concrete measures that will pave the way to diplomatic settlement, he said.

Ban Ki-moon believes that the world is at a crossroads and although the situation was complex over the past several days, the road to a peaceful solution is still open.

His first stop will be Moscow, where the UN Secretary-General will meet on Thursday, March 20, with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior officials.

On Friday, March 21, Ban will travel to Kiev, where he will hold talks with interim President Oleksandr Turchynov, parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other officials.

While in the Ukrainian capital, he will also meet with members of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission and representatives of civil society, the spokesperson said.

Months of political unrest in Ukraine led to the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in February, followed by increased tensions in the country’s autonomous region of Crimea, where a referendum on secession was held on Sunday, March 16.

Throughout the crisis, the Secretary-General and senior UN officials have consistently called for a solution that is guided by the principles of the UN Charter and that respects Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the UN said.

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