New York

02 May 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in Ukraine

The Secretary-General reiterates his grave concern over the deteriorating situation in regions of east and south Ukraine. Escalating violence and reported further loss of life in the city of Slovyansk today is a stark reminder of how dangerous the situation has become. Expansion of militia activities and ongoing seizures of public buildings by unidentified armed groups undercut the letter and spirit of the April 17 Geneva statement. He therefore urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint and appeals to those with grievances to voice them peacefully, so as to avoid more bloodshed. He calls for all parties to respect fully Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Secretary-General once again calls on those responsible for the capture and detention of OSCE military monitors and accompanying Ukrainian staff to release them immediately, unconditionally and unharmed.

The Secretary-General stresses that a diplomatic solution is the only way out of this crisis and that all sides must redouble their efforts to revive the spirit of compromise displayed during the 17 April Geneva talks.

The Secretary-General has asked his Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, to travel to Moscow and Kyiv next week. Mr. Feltman will meet with senior officials and international partners to promote de-escalation and work toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine. He will be carrying a strong message from the Secretary-General that all actors need to exercise utmost caution to prevent the extremely fragile situation from spinning out of control. He will stress the need for a return to diplomacy and highlight the willingness of the United Nations to play a good offices role.