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UN news release says Senior Adviser Robert Serry “in good shape physically”

March 05, 2014, 23:58 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, March 05, /ITAR-TASS/. United Nations has confirmed that Senior Advisor Robert Serry “is in good shape physically after being threatened today (Wednesday) during his visit to Crimea, Ukraine, by armed men who ordered him to leave the region,” UN news center said in a report.

It quoted Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson as telling reporters in New York by telephone from Kiev that Serry “was met outside the main naval headquarters by a number of unidentified men who were saying that he should leave Crimea and go to the airport.”

“Mr. Serry apparently returned to his vehicle, and when the car could not drive away, he walked back to his hotel accompanied by a UN colleague,” the report said.

“On his way to the hotel he stopped by a cafe to call me, and that’s when we talked,” Jan Eliasson said.

The report indicated that Serry, who had been dispatched to Crimea “to take stock of the situation there”, had been relying on Ukrainian authorities for security.

“He was threatened but not kidnapped,” Eliasson stressed.

In Kiev, the Deputy Secretary General continued meetings with authorities, stressing the need for calm and international unity in the pursuit of peace amid the ongoing crisis in the country.

“I don’t think I’ve ever made so many references to the UN Charter,” he told reporters in reference to UN Charter principles of unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Mr. Eliasson is known to carry a copy of the Charter with him at all times, and was earlier today photographed holding up the little blue booklet while calling for a de-escalation of tensions between Kiev and Moscow,” the report said.

Also on Wednesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is on an official visit to Sierra Leone, has announced that he is sending Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic “to Kiev and the eastern part of Ukraine, including Crimea, to monitor the human rights situation.”

According to the itinerary proposed for the trip, Ivan Simonovic is expected to visit Crimea over the weekend.

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