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UN leadership urges all parties de-escalate, negotiate to save people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war

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United Nations, Feb 23: The United Nations leadership on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the escalating Ukraine-Russia tensions, urging all parties to intensify negotiations, de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue to save the people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war.

UN leadership urges all parties de-escalate, negotiate to save people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN General Assembly that the latest developments regarding Ukraine, including reports of increased ceasefire violations across the contact line and the real risk of further escalation on the ground, are a cause of “grave concern”.

“The history of this conflict is complex with at least two permanently opposing narratives. I know that their authors will never agree on what happened in the past,” Guterres told the General Assembly meeting on Ukraine Wednesday. “But in the present situation one thing is clear: the decision of the Russian Federation to recognise the so-called “independence of Donetsk and Luhansk regions – and the follow-up – are violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” he said.

As Ukraine-Russia further escalates, President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid called for the deployment of the "tools that we have to resolve disputes." He called on the parties to intensify their negotiations and de-escalate the current trajectory through dialogue. “Let’s give priority to diplomacy, good offices and mediation. Let’s give peace all the chance it deserves. Full commitment to the United Nations Charter, its purposes and its principles is the only path to ensure lasting peace,” he said.

Guterres underscored that it is time for restraint, reason and de-escalation. “There is no place for actions and statements that would take this dangerous situation over the abyss. It is high time to establish a ceasefire and return to the path of dialogue and negotiations to save the people in Ukraine and beyond from the scourge of war,” he said.

Guterres had on Tuesday also deeply criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into eastern Ukraine and his use of the term peacekeepers to describe those troops. He told the General Assembly that the international community must also be concerned about preserving the integrity of peacekeeping.

“The United Nations has a long and recognised experience deploying peacekeeping operations -- which only take place with the consent of the host country.” He urged all parties to make full use of Article 33 of the Charter and its diverse instruments of pacific settlement of disputes. He cautioned that if the conflict in Ukraine expands, the world could see a scale and severity of need unseen for many years. “I am fully committed to support all efforts to resolve this crisis without further bloodshed. My good offices remain available. We cannot and will not relent in the search for a peaceful solution,” he said.

Russian President Putin on Monday signed decrees to recognise Ukraine's regions of “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” as “independent”, escalating the tension in the region and increasing fears of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. He also ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine in what the Kremlin called a "peacekeeping" mission in the Moscow-backed regions.

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