Ban Ki-moon: Crimean referendum to worsen situation around Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, March 18 (PNA/ITAR-TASS) — Sunday’s secession referendum held in Crimea, which proclaimed independence from Ukraine, will further worsen the situation around Ukraine, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Monday, March 17.

He urged the parties to show restraint and resolve disagreements peacefully.

The Secretary-General “is deeply concerned and disappointed” and urged all parties to avoid “hasty steps” that could exacerbate tensions.

“He encourages all parties to work for a solution that is guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter, including respecting Ukraine’s unity and sovereignty,” Ban’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said.

“The Secretary-General once again urges all parties to refrain from violence and to commit themselves to de-escalation and inclusive national dialogue in the pursuit of a political and diplomatic solution,” he said, adding: “A deterioration of the situation will have serious repercussions for the people of Ukraine, the region and beyond.”

The U.N. chief also urged all parties in Ukraine and those with influence to avoid any steps that could further increase tensions.

“Above all, the Secretary-General urges all concerned to intensify their efforts and engage constructively toward a peaceful solution to this crisis, with the aspirations of all the people of Ukraine foremost in mind,” Dujarric said, adding that Mr. Ban remains ready to work with all parties to resolve this situation.(PNA/ITAR-TASS)