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Ukraine: UN Envoy Urges Calm in Crimea

Security Council to Meet Again On Ukraine; UN Envoy Urges Calm in Crimea

New York, Mar 1 2014 - The United Nations Security Council is meeting on Saturday for the second time in as many days to discuss the situation in Ukraine, while an envoy dispatched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the strife-torn country appealed to all sides to refrain from any actions that could further escalate an already tense environment in the Crimea region.

Senior Advisor Robert Serry, who was dispatched to Kiev earlier this week by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was requested to go to Crimea as part of his fact-finding mission, following yesterday's Security Council consultations on the crisis in Ukraine.

"I have since been in touch with the authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and have come to the conclusion that a visit to Crimea today is not possible," Mr. Serry said in a statement. He added that he will now proceed to Geneva, where he will brief the Secretary-General tomorrow on the mission and consult with him on next steps.

"In Crimea, I would have conveyed, also on behalf of the Secretary-General, a message for all to calm the situation down and to refrain from any actions that could further escalate an already-tense environment," said Mr. Serry.

On Friday, the 15-member Council, which is set to hold urgent consultations again today at 2 p.m. in New York, reviewed "with concern" the recent developments in Ukraine, which has been witnessing violent unrest for several months and last week saw the removal by parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Tensions have been mounting in recent days in Crimea, with media now reporting that the Russian parliament today approved sending troops into the region.

Mr. Serry noted that it was clear from yesterday's Council consultations that the unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine is not to be called into question. "This is a time for dialogue and to engage with each other constructively," he stressed.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

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