Senior UN official calls for dialogue to defuse Russia-Ukraine tensions

Insight Online News

United Nations, Feb 1 : UN Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo has called for dialogue to defuse the current tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Addressing the Security Council on Monday, DiCarlo said that over 100,000 troops and heavy weaponry from Russia are positioned along the border with Ukraine and nspecified numbers of Russian troops and weaponry are also reportedly being deployed to Belarus ahead of large-scale joint military exercises in February on the borders with Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, reports Xinhua news agency.

“NATO members are reportedly planning additional deployments in Eastern European member states, and NATO has advised that 8,500 troops are now on high alert.

“Accusations and recriminations among the various actors involved in the ongoing discussions have created uncertainty and apprehension for many that a military confrontation is impending,” she said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made clear that there can be no alternative to diplomacy and dialogue to deal with the complex, longstanding security concerns and threat perceptions that have been raised.

He has expressed his strong belief that there should not be any military intervention in this context and that diplomacy should prevail.

He has been equally explicit that any such intervention by one country in another would be against international law and the UN Charter. His expectation is that all sides contribute to avoiding confrontation and to creating conditions for a diplomatic solution to end this crisis, said DiCarlo.

“We, therefore, welcome the steps taken so far by all involved to maintain dialogue. We urge and expect all actors to build on these efforts and to remain focused on pursuing diplomatic solutions by engaging in good faith,” she said.

“We further urge all actors to refrain from provocative rhetoric and actions to maximize the chance for diplomacy to succeed. Achieving mutual understanding and lasting, mutually acceptable arrangements is the best way to safeguard regional and international peace and security in the interests of all.”

The UN is closely following the ongoing diplomatic discussions on the future of European peace and security architecture among representatives of Russia, the US, NATO members, the European Union, and the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The UN hopes the outcome of these talks will strengthen peace and security in Europe, including for Ukraine, she said.

No one is watching the current diplomatic efforts more than the people of Ukraine, they have endured a conflict in eastern Ukraine that has taken over 14,000 lives since 2014 and that tragically is still far from resolution. It is painfully obvious that any new escalation in or around Ukraine would mean more needless killing and destruction, said DiCarlo.

She stressed the UN Secretary-General’s appeal to all concerned to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions and continue on the diplomatic path, saying the UN stands ready to support all efforts to that end.

IANS / AGENCY

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