UNITED NATIONS: Russia’s latest actions in Ukraine are clear evidence that President Vladimir Putin is pursuing an “occupation plan” of Moscow’s neighbor, the United States said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) in damning remarks.
“The current situation is dangerous,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told a Security Council session on the conflict in Ukraine, whose president said that more than 9,000 Russian troops were backing Ukrainian separatist fighters.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, speaking earlier at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said the upsurge in fighting after a nearly month-long lull was prompted by a new infusion of Russian forces and weapons.
Power accused Moscow and Putin of reneging on a commitment to de-escalate the conflict.
“Let us pull the veil from Putin’s peace plan and call it for what it is: a Russian occupation plan,” said Power.
“Russia continues to train, equip and fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine,” he added.
Since the council’s last meeting on Ukraine in November, about 800 people have been killed in the east, Power said.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin in turn said that “the Ukrainian side violated the Minsk [peace]agreement by strengthening its military presence in the east of the country.”
“The Ukrainian armed forces are not discriminating between military and civilians targets,” Churkin said, adding: “I urge all to require from the Ukrainian government an unconditional stopping of the forceful quashing of the east.”