UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for preventing armed hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
“As the stakes are now so high, the Secretary-General is seriously concerned that the situation could quickly spin out of control with consequences we cannot predict,” his spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday, April 24.
Ban stressed “in the strongest terms” the necessity for all parties to honour their commitments under the Geneva Statement, which was issued on April 17 following a meeting between the United States, the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia.
The participants in the Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.
All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.
All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.
“Military action must be avoided at all costs,” Ban’s spokesperson said. “The Secretary-General calls on all sides to immediately refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions and find a way forward toward de-escalation. PNA