UN Security Council session on Ukraine gets in nowhere
Ukrainian and Russian representatives squabbled over contents of joint press release
As is known, the Thursday session of the UN Security Council was devoted to the latest developments in Ukraine. The Council failed to pass any sort of resolution on that day – most likely, due to discontent between Ukraine’s Vadym Prystaiko and Russia’s Vitaliy Churkin (Interfax-Ukraine).
The Russian delegation offered a text of press release which should have been published after the session; the Ukrainian side protested as it contained controversial provisions.
According to Churkin, the press release included two statements. The first one was the call upon conflicting sides in Donbas to adhere to Minsk agreements, and the Council’s appeal to complete the investigation of tragic events in Odesa that took place on May 2, 2014.
On this day, the city’s residents are to honor the memory of the victims of the tragedy that took place in the city two years ago. Clashes between Euromaidan and pro-Russian protesters erupted in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa during January 2014, during the lead-up to the late February revolution. Many people in southern and eastern Ukraine opposed the revolution. Odessa, largely Russophone, witnessed contnued unrest throughout 2014. The worst incident occurred on May 2, when forty-six pro-Russian protesters were killed and over 200 people were injured during a confrontation with pro-Ukrainian unity protesters at the Trade Unions House in central Odesa.
Replying to the Russian side’s offer, Vadym Prystaiko replied that the Ukrainian delegation agrees on the first provision of the press release. As for the statement about investigation of the tragedy in Odesa, Ukraine’s representative offered to broaden the investigation, saying that Russia’s actions during annexation of Crimea in late February-early March 2014 should be inquired into. “I guess Russia’s proposal is an unfair attempt to cover this tragedy in Odesa”, Prystaiko said.
Then, the sides traded several jabs; Churkin once again charged Ukraine’s government in committing coup d’état in early 2014, killing unarmed protesters at Maidan Nezalezhnosti during the Revolution of Dignity and failing to comply with the agreement between the-then Ukraine’s President Yanukovych and the opposition. Prystaiko replied that the Russian representative never signed that agreement. He added that the Ukrainian government officially considers February 20, 2014 as the start of Crimea’s annexation by Russia (which is actually coined on the Russian medal “For Returning Crimea”). The agreement mentioned by Churkin was signed the day after that, which might be the proof that Russia purposefully planned the annexation, despite any agreements.
Representatives of the Great Britain and France stated that there was no consensus for approving respective resolution, adding that the release offered by Russia “didn’t cover all relevant events” and it needed “further discussion”. The session was closed with no resolution approved.
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