Top Political Official Urges Restraint from Ukraine,

In an emergency Security Council meeting today requested by Ukraine following the seizure of three its naval vessels by Russian Federation warships in a waterway near Crimea, the United Nations top political official urged restraint from both sides to prevent dangerous escalation.

“The United Nations is deeply concerned about this escalation of tensions, which is taking place in the broader context of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea,” Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said in a briefing that followed the first meeting on the issue which had been called by the Russian Federation under the provisional agenda item titled “Violation of the borders of the Russian Federation”.

That first agenda item was rejected by a procedural vote of 7 against (France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States) to 4 in favour (Bolivia, China, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation), with 4 abstentions (Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Peru). […]

The Russian representative, speaking before and after the procedural vote, said responsibility for the incident is borne by those who gave an illegal command to the Ukrainian crew.  It was a provocation, pre-planned with western States in order to generate hatred for his country ahead of Ukrainian elections in which the current President is facing low ratings.   The regime in Kyiv does not want peace or dialogue, nor does it embrace European values as it claims; it only wants to hold onto power and justify its failings, he stressed.

The representative of Ukraine, calling Moscow’s actions an open military aggression meant to establish Russian Federation maritime control in the area, said that his countrymen had acted strictly in line with international law and the bilateral agreement on the Kerch Strait, which was, in any case, part of Ukrainian territorial waters.  Requests by the Ukrainian vessels for passage were made to the Russian Federation maritime authorities.  Läs protokollet från Säkerhetsrådets möte