Ukraine Crisis: Russia Urges Kiev To Avoid Force In East
Russia has urged the authorities in Kiev not to use force against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine.At a special UN Security Council session, Russia’s ambassador Vitaliy Churkin called on Kiev to “start a genuine dialogue”.
But Ukraine’s UN ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said Moscow had artificially created the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government has promised military action against pro-Russian militants on Monday morning.
According to a Ukrainian presidential decree, pro-Russian separatists should give up their weapons and leave government buildings they have occupied by 06:00 GMT, Reuters reported.
Pro-Russian forces have targeted several cities in eastern Ukraine in the past week.
Mr Churkin said that there neo-Nazis and anti-Semites within the ranks of what he called “the self-proclaimed government in Kiev”.
“The henchmen of Maidan [protest movement] must stop attacking their own people,” said Mr Churkin.
Ukraine’s government has promised military action against pro-Russian militants if they do not relinquish control of government buildings by the early hours of Monday.
Mr Churkin said that the opinions and interests of protesters in eastern Ukraine had not been taken into consideration.
European Union foreign ministers are due to meet later on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss the crisis.
The US said Russia was “spreading fiction” and that the events of the past week mirrored those preceding the annexation of Crimea.
“We know who is behind this,” said Samantha Power, the United States’ permanent representative to the UN.
She said that the US would still take part in talks on the crisis planned for Geneva on Thursday.
However, she said that if the talks were to succeed, Russia would have to explain the build-up of 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.
It was the 10th time the Security Council has convened to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
The meeting was called for by Russia, which has strongly criticised Kiev’s plan to use its armed forces in eastern Ukraine.
Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov earlier said he would not allow a repetition of what happened in Crimea which was annexed by Russia last month.
Eastern Ukraine has a large Russian-speaking population and has seen a series of protests since the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.