April 13th, 2014 17:55 EST
UN Chief Ban Urges Maximum Restraint in Ukraine
Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the growing potential " to spark violent clashes.
">statement issued late last evening by his spokesperson in New York, Mr. Ban expressed deep concern about possible fresh clashes in strife-riven Ukriane, after, according to press reports, anti-Government protesters in the small eastern city of Slavyansk took over the main police building and constructed barricades along roads leading into the town, which is located some 90 miles from the Russian border.
The Secretary-General stresses that further disturbances will not serve the interests of any side. He therefore appeals to all sides to work towards calming the situation, adhere to the rule of law and exercise maximum restraint, " said the statement.
Calling once again for urgent and constructive dialogue to deescalate the situation and address all differences, Mr. Ban also stressed that the United Nations stands ready to continue to support a peaceful resolution to the current crisis facing Ukraine.
Months of political unrest in Ukraine led to the removal by Parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych in February, followed by increased tensions in the country`s autonomous region of Crimea, where additional Russian military were subsequently deployed and a secession referendum was held in mid-March, in which the majority of the region`s people voted to join Russia.
Mr. Ban and other senior UN officials have been leading the push for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. After returning from a visit to both Ukraine and Russia in late March, he called for a solution based on the principles of the UN Charter and warned the concerned parties " and the wider international community " that at this time of heightened tensions, even small sparks can ignite larger flames of unintended consequences. "
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