New York, 2 March 2014 – The United Nations announced on Sunday that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson is heading to Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis in the country to get an understanding of the situation on the ground.
“Following the Security Council’s consultations and given the developments on the ground in Ukraine, the Secretary-General is dispatching Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson to the country this evening,” a spokesperson for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement .
“While in Ukraine, the Deputy Secretary-General will be personally apprised of the facts on the ground and will subsequently brief the Secretary-General on the next steps the United Nations could take to support the de-escalation of the situation,” the spokesperson added.
Ukraine has been witnessing violent unrest for several months and last week saw the removal by Parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych. Tensions have been mounting in recent days in the Crimea region, where additional Russian troops and armoured vehicles have reportedly been deployed.
Today’s announcement comes a day after Mr. Eliasson briefed an urgent meeting of the Security Council, the second in two days held by the 15-member body on the growing crisis in Ukraine.
Mr. Eliasson, as well as the Secretary-General, his Senior Advisor Robert Serry and the Council have all called for calm and direct dialogue between all concerned to avoid a further escalation of the crisis.