The situation in Ukraine – Security Council, 8968th meeting.
LIVE is also available in Russian, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese: https://media.un.org/en/asset/k12/k12yjturao
Briefing the Security Council today (17 Feb) via videoconference from Munich, Germany, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, warned that the current situation in the region is “extremely dangerous,” and stressed that reports of fresh ceasefire violations across the contact line over the past several hours, if verified, “must not be allowed to escalate further.”
DiCarlo said, “tensions in and around Ukraine are running higher than at any point since 2014” and “speculation and accusations around a potential military conflict are rife.”
She said, “the issues underpinning the current crisis are complex and longstanding” and “tie together the eight-year conflict in eastern Ukraine with the larger issues relating to the European security architecture.”
DiCarlo is in Munich accompanying Secretary-General António Guterres who is attending the Munich Security Conference.
Russian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Vershinin, who presided today’s Council meeting, said, “seven years down the road, it is clear that none of the provisions of the package of measures” in the Minsk Agreement “have been implemented by Ukraine,” including the ceasefire provision.
The root of the problem, Vershinin said, “is a systematic lack of desire of Kiev to get into a direct dialogue with the authorised representative of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Contact Group, whereas this is a dialogue that is clearly directly provided in items for 911 and 12 of the document.”
He said this was “something that our neighbors increasingly bring into question and thus, risk undermining the whole Minsk process which could lead to devastating consequences for Ukraine.”
The Russian official said, “attempts to place the blame on Russia are futile and baseless. And this on the heights of the goal of shifting the blame away from Ukraine. I must say that we are very disappointed by the ostrich-like position of our Western colleagues, who are trying not to see obvious things.”
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Council that “the most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine” but “the stakes go far beyond Ukraine.”
He said, “this is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people, as well as for the foundation of the United Nations Charter and the rules-based international order that preserves stability worldwide,” adding “that his crisis directly affects every member of this council and every country in the world. Because the basic principles that sustain peace and security – principles that were enshrined in the wake of two world wars and a Cold War – are under threat.”
Blinken said, “I am here today, not to start a war, but to prevent one. The information I’ve presented here is validated by what we’ve seen unfolding in plain sight before our eyes for months. And remember that while Russia has repeatedly derided our warnings and alarms as melodrama and nonsense, they have been steadily amassing more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, as well as the capabilities to conduct a massive military assault.”
For his part, Ukraine’s Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Council “Ukraine remains committed to peaceful resolution of the Russian Ukrainian conflict by political diplomatic means.”
Kyslytsya said, “Ukraine wants peace, security and stability not only for itself, but also for the entire Europe. At the same time, I reiterate that in the event of Russia opting for escalation, Ukraine will defend itself.”
Russia is organising the meeting to mark the seventh anniversary of the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, also known as the Minsk II agreement, adopted on 12 February 2015, and to discuss its implementation.