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US, EU’s support of Kiev’s tactics blocks peaceful resolution of Ukraine crisis – Russia

Published time: May 02, 2014 16:29
Edited time: May 02, 2014 22:59

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (Reuters / Mike Segar)

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The West has cut all paths to a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian crisis by supporting the Kiev authorities and their violent crackdown on protests in the eastern part of the country, Russia’s envoy Vitaly Churkin told the UN Security Council.

Catastrophic consequences are inevitable if Kiev authorities do not stop their “criminal venture,” Churkin stressed at the emergency UNSC meeting summoned by Moscow on Friday.

He pointed out that Kiev has flagrantly violated its obligations that were established under the Geneva agreement on April 17. The "punitive measures" carried out by the government are evidence of Kiev’s inability and unwillingness to fulfill these obligations, he added.

Particular concern is raised by data that, during the punitive operation of the Ukrainian military and illegal ultra-nationalist groups, English speech was heard on air, and among the assailants on Slavyansk, English speaking foreigners were seen,” the Russian UN envoy said.

In reference to the disturbing events in Odessa where at least 31 people have died after radicals set fire to the Trade Unions House, Churkin said that such “actions are reminiscent of the crimes of the Nazis from whom the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists derive their ideological inspiration.”

"We expect – we demand that the western advocates of the Ukrainian authorities, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, join Russia in unequivocally condemning this barbaric act," the Russian envoy said in a statement released by his office.

He stressed that Moscow “insists on avoiding any external interference in what is happening in Ukraine.”

Kiev regime, encouraged by its Western sponsors, used massive use of military force, practically destroying the last hope for the viability of the Geneva agreement,” Churkin said.

The Russian envoy to the UN has urged Kiev and all sides who took part in the Geneva deal – the US and EU – to “refrain from making grave mistakes” and “soberly assess the full responsibility of the possible consequences of their actions."

Supporting the organizers of the Kiev government coup and their military crackdown on protesters, the US and EU take great responsibility practically cutting all paths to resolve the crisis peacefully,” Churkin concluded.

Against this background, “Washington’s flat refusal” to support the proposal on organizing an OSCE-supported dialogue between Kiev and southeastern Ukraine looks “not coincidental,” Churkin said.

Kiev has intensified its military operation in eastern Ukraine, with the country's new authorities unleashing heavy weaponry on Slavyansk on Friday morning. Helicopters and APCs blockaded the city, preventing the evacuation of civilians. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has urged for the creation of humanitarian corridors.

In response, Russia summoned an emergency UNSC meeting aimed at ending the violence and bloodshed.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is very concerned about the events in eastern Ukraine and urged all sides of the conflict to show “restraint.”

"The escalation of violence and reports of further casualties in Slavyansk today is a vivid reminder of how dangerous the situation has become," Ban said in a statement, adding that he "calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to express dissatisfaction peacefully to avoid further bloodshed."

In turn, Russia’s envoy called on the UN to publish a statement urging an end to all violence, including the use of military force in eastern Ukraine.