The UN, on December 12. /Corr. Oleg Zelenin/. The UN Security Council held on Friday the first five months public meeting on the situation in Ukraine, discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict, the humanitarian situation and the situation of human rights.
The last word is left by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vitaly Churkin, who proposed the Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin to change attitudes and to show the political will to implement the Minsk agreements.
“Kiev authorities have already one after another missed chance for a political settlement of the crisis in the Ukraine. Russia is his part in the “Normandy format”, and in the contact group has and intends to bring it to the end. I hope that the political will necessary for implementation of the Minsk agreements and of security Council resolution 2202 will show, finally, and the Ukrainian leadership. Mr. Minister, can be indeed high time for new approaches?”, – he turned to Klimkina.
The dispute ended with a handshake
Despite the sharp exchange of views during the meeting, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian Minister eventually shook hands. Churkin also exchanged a few words with the new Ambassador of Ukraine Vladimir elchenko, who attended the meeting, and his predecessor Yuriy Sergeyev, who headed the Ukrainian diplomatic mission at the UN for 8 years.
During the first five months of the open security Council meeting all participants stressed the importance of implementing the Minsk agreements, however, differences in estimates of what and who hampers their implementation. A number of countries, including Lithuania, the United States and the United Kingdom laid the responsibility on Moscow, and on militias in the East of Ukraine.
In turn, Russia’s permanent representative said that the Kiev authorities are sabotaging the truce in the Donbass and the situation warm up military provocations, to “cover up the failure of his domestic policy”. Churkin drew attention to the desperate economic situation, the ongoing struggle for power, which is “often reminiscent of gang violence”, rampant corruption, human rights violations by Ukrainian security forces and persecution of opposition activists.
He stressed that the legitimization of the authorities in Kiev impossible as long as “widespread and entrenched part of Ukrainian society, the ideology of extremism, neo-Nazism and aggressive nationalism” would “be considered as the realization of the right to freedom of expression and even a potential factor in the consolidation of the country and society”.
Klimkin during his speech attempted to lay responsibility for the failure of the Minsk agreements on Russia, and once again accused Moscow of meddling in the conflict in Ukraine. “The only chance of preventing a return to full-scale war is to implement the “Minsk-2″, – said Klimkin. Is the only way to end the conflict. Ukraine is fully committed to this. This is our bridge to the future, and we are not going to burn it”.
The reason for the delay of the meeting
The security Council meeting began with an 80-minute delay. According to the diplomat one of the Western members of the security Council, it was caused by the fact that the Russian delegation demanded the exclusion from the list of rapporteurs of the UN assistant Secretary General for human rights Ivan Šimonović.
During the meeting of the security Council, the Russian Ambassador reminded that led by Šimonović mission to monitor human rights in Ukraine “does not have the mandate of the UN security Council” and agenda of his speech “goes beyond the security Council resolution 2202”, which referred to a political settlement of the conflict. According to Churkin, the return to the theme of human rights in Ukraine is “nothing but an attempt to divert attention from the most important task of implementing measures to fulfil the Minsk agreements.
The UN claims violations on both sides
Šimonović eventually spoke at the meeting, accusing militias in the East of Ukraine in violation of human rights and the restriction of democratic freedoms, and focused on the situation in Crimea, which became part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.
Not left without attention of the assistant Secretary General and the actions of the Kiev authorities – they went for tougher rules for crossing the line of contact that resulted in a de facto blockade outside government control areas. According to Šimonović, these measures “remain one of the major challenges for people living in the conflict zone”. In addition, he drew attention to the practice reports of the Ukrainian security forces of abductions and torture of people suspected of being sympathetic to the militias, and the lack of progress in the investigation into the deaths of people during mass riots in Kiev in November 2013 and February 2014, as well as in Odessa in may last year.
Touched šimonović and the situation with a diversion in Crimea leading to the power lines, which led to serious disruptions in the energy supply of the Peninsula. However, he did not hold anyone responsible for these actions, saying only that it was preceded by initiated in September “leaders of the Crimean Tatar community in Ukraine” trade blockade of the Crimea.
The meeting also acted as the first Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson, Director of the operations division of the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, the head of the Special monitoring mission of the OSCE ertuğrul Apakan. They all noted the decrease in violence in Eastern Ukraine in recent months and urged the parties to continue dialogue for the purpose of a speedy settlement.