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Kiev urges UN to hold joint 'anti-terrorist operation' in eastern Ukraine

Published time: April 14, 2014 14:53
Edited time: April 15, 2014 08:31
Pro-Russian protesters attend a rally in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

Pro-Russian protesters attend a rally in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 14, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

Ukraine’s coup-installed president, Aleksandr Turchinov, has proposed the conducting of a joint operation with UN peacekeeping forces, signing a decree immediately imposing a special anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country.

Turchinov said in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, that Kiev’s new authorities would welcome the possibility that “if with your [UN] help, there is to be a joint anti-terrorist operation conducted in the east of the country…specialists and observers will be able to confirm the legitimacy and legality of our actions,” the press office of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party quoted Turchinov as saying.

On his part, Ban Ki-moon said that Kiev could rely fully on help from the UN as its partner.

Late Monday afternoon, Ukraine’s coup-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov signed a decree to officially begin a “special anti-terrorist operation” in the east of the country, Ukraine’s presidential press-service said in a statement.

He ordered "that the National Security and Defence Council's decision of April 13, 2014 'On urgent measures to overcome the territorial threat and to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine' be put into effect". The order becomes effective from the day of publication.

Turchinov has appointed acting Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, to oversee the operation.

Meanwhile, the US and EU have already provided financial aid for coup-appointed Kiev government.

On Monday, the US allocated $11.4 million to help Ukraine organize a “free, fair and peaceful” presidential election scheduled for May 25, the State Department said. The money aims to support local and international election observers and to create a transparent electoral commission.

Also on Monday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council approved a loan of 1 billion euro and an additional 610 million euro in micro-financial aid for the Kiev administration.

"[We] welcome the adoption of the EU Commission proposal on autonomous trade measures for Ukraine [and] additional macro-financial aid of 1 billion euro," EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule tweeted.

Kiev announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against protesters in eastern Ukraine, where pro-autonomy rallies intensified last week.

The Donetsk region has been in turmoil since Sunday morning with anti-government protesters seizing several buildings and demonstrations raging in the city of Slavyansk.

On Sunday evening Kiev threatened "full-scale" military force if protesters and paramilitaries declined to vacate occupied government buildings by a Monday morning deadline.

Protesters ignored the ultimatum to leave by 9 am, and a Russian flag continued to fly over the besieged police HQs in Slavyansk.

On Monday the head of Donetsk region announced that a “special operation regime” was to be imposed in the region.

The “anti-terrorist operation” has been slammed by Russia, which requested the United Nations Security Council convene immediately to discuss Ukraine’s declaration of the operation.

Speaking from the city of Rostov-on-Don, ousted President Viktor Yanukovich called the planned military operation a "criminal order".

The operation announced by Kiev stipulates that the Ukrainian armed forces are to be involved. The Ukrainian army has not been involved despite the four months of upheaval and its capabilities in terms of handling internal problems are as of yet untested.