UN Security Council to meet today to discuss situation in Ukraine
The U.N. Security Council will meet on Saturday, March 1, when it will be nearly midnight in Moscow, to discuss the situation in Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported.
The Security Council already met over Ukraine on Friday, February 28, where Ukrainian Permanent Representative Yuri Sergeyev urged its members to take the situation Crimea (autonomy within Ukraine) "most seriously."
The U.S. and UK permanent representatives voiced concern about the movements of Russian troops in Crimea. The Russian permanent representative replied by saying that Russia was acting in Crimea in accordance with the agreement with Ukraine on the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet there.
Senior Advisor Robert Serry, who was dispatched to Kiev earlier this week by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was requested to go to Crimea as part of his fact-finding mission, following Friday's Security Council consultations on the crisis in Ukraine.
However, Serry said on Saturday that such a trip to Crimea would be impossible at the moment. "I have since been in touch with the authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and have come to the conclusion that a visit to Crimea today is not possible," Serry said in a statement. He added that he would now proceed to Geneva, where he will brief the Secretary-General tomorrow on the mission and consult with him on next steps.
"In Crimea, I would have conveyed, also on behalf of the Secretary-General, a message for all to calm the situation down and to refrain from any actions that could further escalate an already-tense environment," Serry said.
Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland appealed to all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to refrain from actions that could further aggravate the situation.
EU ambassadors in Brussels are holding urgent consultations on the situation in Ukraine ahead of an urgent Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday, March 3, an informed diplomatic source said.
He declined to speculate on the situation in Crimea, saying that contradictory information was coming from that region.
At its previous meeting on February 20, the EU Foreign Affairs Council called on the parties to refrain from violence and made a political decision to impose sanctions against Ukrainian officials. The decision is still in effect.
Meanwhile, NATO said it was watching the latest developments in Ukraine and Crimea most closely.