UN Secretary-General calls the recognition of self-proclaimed "republics" in eastern Ukraine "a death blow" to Minsk agreements
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Russia's decision to recognize the "independence" of separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts violated Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. He described Russia's move as "a death blow" to the Minsk agreements.
He said this at a briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.
According to him, he had to interrupt his visit abroad and abandon an important meeting with African leaders to resolve "the biggest global crisis in peace and security in recent years".
"We are going through a moment that, as I sincerely hoped, would never happen," he said. "I am deeply concerned about recent developments in Ukraine, including reports of increased ceasefire violations and the risk of further escalation", - Guterres said.
As he pointed out, Russia's unilateral actions are directly contrary to the principles of the United Nations Charter and are incompatible with the UN General Assembly's Declaration of Friendly Relations.
"The principles of the UN Charter are not an a la carte menu. They cannot be applied selectively. Member States have accepted them all and they must apply them all", - the UN chief stressed.
Antonio Guterres said he was concerned about "the perversion of the concept of peacekeeping".
"I am proud of the UN's peacekeeping achievements, in which so many Blue Helmets have sacrificed their lives to protect civilians. But when troops of one country enter the territory of another country without its consent, they are not impartial peacekeepers. They are not peacekeepers at all", - he underscored.
Guterres added that the United Nations fully supports Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
"At this critical juncture, I call for an immediate ceasefire and a resumption of the rule of law. Restraint and reason are needed now. Immediate de-escalation is needed. I urge all parties to refrain from actions and statements that could bring such a dangerous situation to the brink. Any additional deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine will only increase tensions.
We must rally and meet this challenge together for peace and to save the people of Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war. I am fully committed to all efforts to resolve this crisis without further bloodshed", - he concluded.
What is known
- Rada proposes to impose sanctions against deputies of the State Duma of Russia, who initiated the recognition of L / DPR.
- The Foreign Ministry calls on Ukrainians to leave Russia immediately.
- The European Union's member states have agreed on a new set of anti-Russian sanctions in response to Russia's recognition of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR independence.
- They will affect 351 Russian Federation State Duma deputies as well as 27 individuals and legal entities. EU High Representative Josep Borrell stated this on February 22.
- Britain has imposed sanctions on five banks and three Russian oligarchs.
- US President Joe Biden has announced new sanctions against the Russian Federation for recognizing its self-proclaimed L / DPR. These are restrictions imposed on two banks, Russia's sovereign debt, and Russian elites and their families.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he has cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov because Russia recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR.
- Russia's aggressive decision to recognize the L/DPR as independent has been condemned by 46 countries and five international organisations.
- The Foreign Ministry asks the President of Ukraine to sever diplomatic ties with Russia.
- On February 21, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, simultaneously asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the L / DPR.
- On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed "LPR" and "DPR" and signed a decree.
- Ukraine and the West have stated that Russia's recognition of the L / DPR means its withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.
- A few hours after Russia's recognition of the L / DPR, Moscow began bringing its troops into their territory, ostensibly for peacekeeping purposes.
- President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine would remain the same, despite Russia's actions that mean ignoring decisions within the Normandy format and the Kremlin's unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.
- Ukraine has initiated an emergency summit of the Normandy Four. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent a request within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum with a request to hold consultations immediately.
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