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Russia, China, Venezuela, Angola skip informal UN Security Council meeting on Crimea

March 20, 2015, 8:57 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The meeting was held under the so-called "Arria-formula" that allows the Security Council members to exchange views in a private order with the participation of persons invited by the organizers
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© AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

UNITED NATIONS, March 20. /TASS/. Four UN Security Council members - Russia, China, Venezuela and Angola - refused to attend Thursday’s meeting on Crimea initiated by Lithuania.

The closed-door meeting was attended by Mustafa Dzhemilev, who is a member of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and the former head of the Crimean Tatar community.

Russia’s permanent mission to the UN earlier dismissed the event as "counterproductive and provocative." "The Russian delegation will not take part in it and, as far as we know, the delegations of several other countries won’t do it either," the mission said in a statement.

Lithuania’s UN envoy Raimonda Murmokaite confirmed to reporters that the representatives of the four countries did not attend the meeting. "These delegations were not present. It is their decision," she said.

Murmokaite also criticized the Russian authorities saying they only pay attention to the human rights violations committed by Kiev’s forces. The diplomat said that the violations were also reported in the areas controlled by armed groups in eastern Ukraine and also in Crimea.

The meeting was held under the so-called "Arria-formula" that allows the Security Council members to exchange views in a private order with the participation of persons invited by the organizers, including civil society representatives.

In early March, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said that Moscow would not discuss as part of the Security Council the issue of Crimea, which is the federal subject of Russia. He reminded that the recent opinion poll conducted by a German institute showed that 93% of citizens of the peninsula said they supported the reunification with Russia.

"We don’t need to prove anything," the diplomat said.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

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