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UN chief to visit Moscow, Kiev in bid to launch direct dialogue between them

March 19, 2014, 23:46 updated at: March 20, 2014, 23:46 UTC+3 UNITD NATIONS
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UNITD NATIONS, March 19,  /ITAR-TASS/. U.N. Secretary-General 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.

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 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 U.N. 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 Acting President Alexander Turchinov, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and other officials.

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

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

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

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