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NATO ‘beefing up muscles’ over Ukraine crisis a mistake – Russia

Published time: June 04, 2014 09:58
Russia's United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Russia's United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

If NATO is using the situation in Ukraine to "beef up its own muscles," it is a “detrimental” policy, said Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN and current president of the Security Council, urging a peaceful solution to the crisis.

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Churkin warned against attempts to “take advantage of the dramatic situation in Ukraine” at a press conference on Tuesday, when he was asked whether he believed Obama’s visit to Europe could help resolve the crisis or make it worse.

You know, I used to be Liaison Ambassador to NATO a while ago and I keep following [it],” Churkin said. “From time to time they try to take advantage of certain situations in order to get jump-started. They keep looking for some kind of a new mission to perform. So if this crisis is used for that purpose, I think that is going to be detrimental for overall international interaction.

Trying to resolve the situation in Ukraine by force is “the easiest thing,” according to Churkin, who criticized those members of the UN Security Council who endorsed the military operation in eastern Ukraine.

Zinaida Patskan, 80, speaks as she stands inside her home which was destroyed by Ukrainian artillery, on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk May 22, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

Some members of the council seem to believe that the situation there can be settled by force, in fact encourage Kiev to continue their punitive operation in eastern parts of Ukraine,” Churkin said. “We believe it’s a grave mistake and we believe the Security Council with its responsibility for international peace and security should seek peaceful solutions to any issue, which it might come in contact with.”

Kiev has lately intensified its military campaign in heavily populated areas of eastern Ukraine, Churkin reminded, adding that further escalation could lead to situation turning “extremely dramatic.”

Kiev's ‘indiscriminate shelling of residential areas’ must be stopped – Russia

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed on Tuesday that a fatal explosion at an administrative building in eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk was from an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, although it admitted showering the same city with 150 missiles from the air in a military action on Monday.

The UN children’s rights body raised the alarm on Monday over seven children injured since Kiev intensified its military operation in the east of Ukraine a month ago, as residential areas have increasingly come under fire.

In the most recent incident on Tuesday a hospital, a school and a train station got shelled in the village of Krasny Liman, near the city of Slavyansk, where some of the heaviest fighting takes place. Locals say the attack resulted in casualties.

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