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UN Security Council fails to agree on text of statement on Mariuopl shelling

January 25, 2015, 4:43 UTC+3
The mission’s press service said that "no consensus was reached, because the UK delegation insisted that the Council discuss separate statements made by the militias"
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© EPA/SERGEY VAGANOV

UNITED NATIONS, January 25. /TASS/. The UN Security Council members failed on Saturday evening to agree on the text of the press statement on the shelling of residential areas of the city of Mariupol in the east of Ukraine, Russia’s permanent mission to the UN has said.

The mission’s press service said that the discussion of the possible Security Council’s reaction to developments in Mariupol continued throughout the day. However, no consensus was reached, because the UK delegation insisted that the Council discuss separate statements made by the militias,” the Russian mission said.

The Russian diplomatic mission drew attention to the fact that “the militias have made various statements” during the day. “Let alone the fact that the Western member states of the UN Security Council have been refusing throughout the conflict to denounce any statements and actions (often very aggressive) of the Kiev leadership,” the statement says.

At least 30 people, including two children, have been killed in shelling in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, city officials said Saturday, in the latest violence to rock the disputed Donetsk region. Another 102 people were injured, at least 75 of whom needed hospital treatment, and many suffered shrapnel injuries, Mariupol City Council said.

The proposal to adopt a press statement of the UN Security Council was put forward by the UK delegation. UK Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant wrote in his Twitter microblog that the document was “blocked by Russia.” The Russian delegation rejected the clause denouncing the recent public statements (by people’s militia fighters) that contradict the Minsk agreements, a diplomat of a Western UN Security Council member state told TASS. According to her, the Security Council may meet against on Monday to discuss the sharp aggravation of the situation in the east of Ukraine.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon previously condemned the shelling of Mariupol, saying the rockets “appear to have been launched indiscriminately into civilian areas, which would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law,” according to a statement issued by his spokesman.

He denounced the rebel leadership’s unilateral withdrawal from the ceasefire and “their provocative statements about claiming further territory,” according to the statement.

According to a report of observers of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the eastern outskirts of Mariupol came under fire on Saturday evening from the Oktyabr and Zaichenko settlements. According to preliminary information, the Grad and Uragan multiple rocket launch systems were used in the attack.

Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Aleksandr Zakharchenko said that the fire on Mariupol was opened by the Ukrainian troops.

A peace deal signed in September in the Belarusian capital of Minsk envisaged a ceasefire and a pullout of heavy weapons from a division line in eastern Ukraine, but that was repeatedly violated by both sides. Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany agreed Wednesday to revive that division line.

Senior envoys from Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE issued a statement Saturday convening an urgent meeting next week to restart the Minsk peace process.

From mid-April 2014 to January 21, the conflict killed at least 5,086 people and injured at least 10,948 others, according to the United Nations.

“We fear that the real figure may be considerably higher,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said about the death toll in a report released Friday.

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