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UN envoy to arrive in Kharkov March 10, visit Crimea later this week

March 10, 2014, 22:07 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, March 10, /ITAR-TASS/. U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic will arrive in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov on Monday, March 10, and visit Crimea (autonomy seeking independence from Ukraine) later this week.

Simonovic, who is also planning visit the western Ukrainian city of Lvov this week, arrived in Ukraine on March 7 and has already held a number of meetings, including with parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and with foreign diplomats in Kiev.

The U.N. Security Council will convene for a closed-door meeting later on Monday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The meeting is scheduled for 15:00 EST (Monday midnight in Moscow). It was convened in reply to Ukraine’s request filed last Friday, March 7.

Since February 28, the Security Council has held four meetings on Ukraine. Two of them were open to the press and two were held behind closed doors. At the latest meeting on Thursday, March 6, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson briefed the Council from Kiev by teleconference. He has returned to New York since then, having been replaced in Ukraine by Simonovic.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “increasingly alarmed” by the developments in Ukraine and appealed again to all parties “to de-escalate tensions and to engage in direct and constructive dialogue in order to forge a peaceful way forward.”

“Recent events in Crimea in particular have only served to deepen the crisis. As tensions and mistrust are growing, I urge all sides to refrain from hasty actions and provocative rhetoric,” he said.

Ban urged the international community to help the key actors calm the situation and work toward a durable and fair political solution and warned that “a further deterioration of the situation would have serious repercussions for the people of Ukraine, the region and the global community.”

“I also continue to urge the relevant authorities to ensure that the human rights of all in Ukraine are respected, with particular attention to the rights and protection of minorities,” the Secretary-General said.

“At this crucial juncture, we cannot afford either miscalculations or inaction. Above all, a resolution of the crisis must be found on the basis of United Nations Charter principles, including the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” he stressed.

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