UNITED NATIONS, January 21. /TASS/. The United Nations Security Council will hold an open meeting on Wednesday dedicated to the situation eastern Ukraine.
The meeting, the 27th one since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, will take place when a meeting between the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) foreign ministers in Berlin is over.
The United Nations Security Council meeting was initiated by Lithuania, a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Initially it was planned to organize a meeting in a closed format but the United States delegation had insisted on an open meeting that would be attended by Ukrainian diplomats.
Russia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said the meeting was highly unlikely to yield any resolution or other documents. “The Security Council is so split /in opinions/ that it is improbable,” he said, adding that the Russian delegation would speak about its vision of the current situation in Ukraine.
The United Nations Security Council’s latest session on Ukraine was help more than two months ago, on November 12, to discuss a regular report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights /OHCHR/. The discussion followed a routine scenario, with Western representatives placing responsibility for the Ukrainian crisis on Moscow and Russian diplomats calling on colleagues to look at the situation more objectively. Thus, Alexander Pankin, Russia’s deputy Permanent Representative, called “not to make a farce and unbridled hysteria of the Security Council session.”
In the recent days, the situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated dramatically following combat operations in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport. On Sunday, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council confirmed a large-scale military operation was staged in the area. On Friday, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk was frustrated as no official Kiev representatives showed up.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over large-scale combat operation in the vicinity of the airport as threatening to undermine the ceasefire regime that had been reached in labousr in September 2014. He called to spare no effort to prevent further aggravation and said he was ready to support any efforts aiming to deescalate the situation and resume peace process that would lead to the restoration of stability and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to the latest reports of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs /OCHA/, more than more than 4,800 people have been killed and about 10,500 have been wounded a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. As many as 634,000 Ukrainian have become internally displaced persons and 594,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, mainly to Russia. About 5.2 million people are still staying in the zone of combat operations, with 1.4 million being in extremely vulnerable situation and needing humanitarian aid.