UNITED NATIONS: Russia submitted a draft resolution on Ukraine at the Security Council on Thursday (Friday in Manila) demanding that the United Nations play a greater role in resolving the crisis, and accused Kiev of using white phosphorus.
Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he introduced the draft at closed-door consultations that focused on Iraq, adding that it had been met with “some support” and “some suggestions.”
He said it “updated” a June 2 measure — that received a cool response from the Security Council — and called for an immediate end to the violence, a sustained ceasefire and greater UN involvement in efforts to broker a solution.
Currently chaired by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been at the forefront of attempts to try to resolve the crisis.
In May, the OSCE drew up a plan to help bring the pro-Western Kiev authorities and pro-Moscow militants in the southeast to the negotiating table, but no progress has been made in several rounds of dialogue that excluded the armed separatists.
Russia wants UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support OSCE efforts to implement the road map and launch dialogue “involving all political forces and regions of the country,” Churkin said.
It is “important for the Security Council to play a role and for the United Nations to increase its role in trying to settle the situation in Ukraine and to stop violence,” he said.
Diplomats say Russia’s earlier Ukraine draft was at least partly a bargaining chip as the West scrambles to avoid Moscow vetoing a resolution on enforcing humanitarian access in Syria.
Churkin denied there was any relation when questioned on Thursday.
Moscow has accused Kiev of using prohibited munitions, but Churkin said there were “reports” for the first time that Ukraine was using white phosphorus munition in the fighting.
“We are very disturbed about it,” he said.
Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying there had been attempts from Ukraine to depart from the principles stipulated in the roadmap.
“The lack of any progress whatsoever in efforts to stop the violence and halt military operations . . . is causing increasing concern,” he told reporters.
Lavrov also called for a probe into allegations that the ex-Soviet country was using banned weapons.
“Reports about the use by Ukraine’s armed forces of incendiary bombs and other banned non-selective weapons are a cause for special concern,” he said.
“These reports should be verified as soon as possible,” Lavrov added.