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Russia-suggested statement on Ukraine ceasefire blocked at UNSC under ‘frivolous pretext’

Published time: August 29, 2014 02:12
Edited time: August 29, 2014 02:50

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

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A statement calling for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine was blocked at the UN Security Council under a completely frivolous pretext, Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said, after a heated debate with Kiev again accusing Russia of full-scale invasion.

“The Russian delegation's proposal on declaration of a ceasefire was blocked under a frivolous pretext,” Churkin said after the emergency session of the UNSC meeting, Itar-Tass quotes. “The Security Council as a result of destructive efforts of a number of its members was unable to play its role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.”

During the meeting, the UN Security Council's permanent representative of Lithuania Raymond Murmokayte stated that the draft document prepared by Russia does not highlight “some serious issues,” namely that anti-Kiev forces “hamper the provision of humanitarian aid on the part of Ukraine's government.”

The Russian proposed text to the UN Security Council all expressed serious concerns about the deteriorating situation in south-eastern Ukraine, and called for “immediate and unconditional ceasefire” as well as the beginning of a dialogue “based on the Geneva Declaration of 17 April 2014 and the Joint Berlin Declaration of July 2, 2014.”

The text also noted the need to “multiply efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.”

READ MORE: Putin calls on Ukraine militia to let blocked Kiev troops to cross into Russia

While Kiev continues to blame Russia for violating its sovereignty and escalating violence in the south east of the country, Churkin during the emergency session insisted that the current escalation is a “direct consequence of a wreckers policy of Kiev which is conducting a war against its own people.”

US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power also attacked Russia accusing it of repeated lies and insisting that it is a fact that Russia has moved troops, tanks and other armored vehicles into Ukraine.

“One of the separatist leaders that Russia has armed and backed said openly that three or four thousand Russian soldiers have joined their cause. He was quick to clarify that these soldiers were on vacation. But a Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on his summer break is still a Russian soldier. And the armored Russian military vehicle he drives there is not his personal car,” Power said, presenting her own case the Security Council members.

Anti-goverment fighters walk towards destroyed war memorial at Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of Donetsk, August 28, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

The leader of Donetsk People’s Republic, indeed said that Russians are fighting along the people of Donbas – but they are all volunteers with a “heightened feeling of sorrow and human misfortune” who prefer spending their holidays among their brothers fighting for a good cause.”

Vitaly Churkin fired back at Power saying that nobody ever tried to hide the presence of Russian volunteers, urging Washington instead to explain what dozens of US advisers are doing in Kiev or tell how many mercenaries from private military companies are waging war in Ukraine.

Russia's permanent representative also called on Washington to “curb their geopolitical ambitions” and stop interfering in the affairs of sovereign states. “Then not only Russia's neighbors, but also many other countries around the world will breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

Russia also demanded an end to “speculations around the Malaysian downed aircraft,” the investigation of which was also brought up during the emergency session that became the 24th meeting of the UN Security Council over Ukrainian crisis.

“So far, only Russia transparently and significantly contributed to the investigation of this tragedy. From the other side we hear only half-hints and no information,” said the diplomat, as Churkin once again urged Kiev to publish the recording of Ukrainian air traffic controllers that guided MH17 flight that went down in July.

The Russian envoy stressed that Ukrainian authorities pushing forward with their military solution to the crisis under the support and the influence of a number of “well-known states.”

“With support from and under the influence of a number of well-known states the Kiev authorities have torpedoed all political agreements on settling the crisis in Ukraine,” including the Geneva statement of April 17 and the Berlin declaration of July 2, Churkin said.

The so-called “peace-plan” of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko repeatedly referred to by some of the Security Council’s members, Churkin says was only a step to further escalation, as he reminded the Council that Kiev failed to negotiate with the representatives of eastern regions.

“Where is the inclusive national dialogue promised by Kiev, or the constitutional reform, or the decentralization of the authority or the special status for the Russian language?” Churkin asked. Under the cover of empty promises, Kiev, he said, is engaging in a “fight against dissent,” where political parties are banned, while press freedom is suffering.

Ukrainian servicemen are seen at their position during fighting with anti-goverment fighters in the eastern Ukrainian town of Ilovaysk August 26, 2014 (Reuters / Maks Levin)

While over 2,000 people have already been killed, the casualty count is growing “exponentially,” Churkin added. Russia is on the receiving end of the crisis, handling over 814,000 refugees. Ukrainian servicemen that cross over into Russia are also being fed and taken care of.

In order to avoid further escalation and needless loss of life, Russia’s President Putin urged the self-defense militias in Ukraine to provide Kiev's military units blocked in the east of the country with a safe humanitarian corridor into Russia. At the same time Putin pledged more humanitarian aid to the suffering population of eastern Ukraine.

US President Barack Obama in the meantime joined the chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric heard at the UN and threatened further sanctions to intensify the restrictions previously imposed against Moscow.