Russia Wants UN Action to Stop Violence in Ukraine
Published: June 16, 2014 (Issue # 1815)
Russia has introduced a UN Security Council resolution that strongly urges an immediate end to all violence in Ukraine and the launching of a national dialogue involving all political forces and regions.
The draft resolution, circulated to council members, calls on all parties to immediately implement a "road map" to peace put forward by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, on May 12.
Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said the draft — introduced Thursday — superseded a text he circulated June 2 demanding an immediate halt to deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine, which has languished.
Western diplomats have insisted that any UN resolution reaffirm Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity — a critical issue following Russia's invasion of Crimea and its annexation, which the U.S and the European Union refuse to recognize.
Like the June 2 draft, the newly proposed Russian resolution does not mention Ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity, which makes its approval by the Security Council highly unlikely.
Churkin said there was only a brief discussion of the text, with support from some council members and suggestions from others. He said council experts would meet Friday to go over the text "to try to accomplish this very quickly."
Lithuania's ambassador to the UN, Raimonda Murmokaite, called the resolution "another surprise ... like a rabbit out of the box."
Any resolution on Ukraine has to "insist on territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of Ukraine's borders, and we have to clearly name insurgents and militant separatists and what they are doing," she said.
Lithuania and some others will also express concern "that there is military movement across Russia's border, including recent information on three tanks that have crossed into [Ukraine's] territory," Murmokaite said. "For Russia not to be able to take care of its own borders and not to prevent the flow of arms, insurgents and military capabilities is a highly troubling situation."
The draft expresses deep concern at the intensification of hostilities and killing of civilians in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled pro-Russian rebels for two months. Churkin noted reports of the use of white phosphorous munitions, which are banned, by the Ukrainian s