Russia blocks UNSC draft statement on eastern Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Tue Nov 4, 2014 10:48AM GMT
Russia has blocked a UN Security Council draft statement that criticizes presidential and parliamentary elections held by pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.
'There was a draft press statement that was inadequate. For this reason it was not adopted,' said Alexei Zaitsev, the First Secretary for Russia's permanent envoy to the UN, late on Monday.
The draft, proposed by Lithuania, stated that the elections which were held in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk on Sunday, run counter to a peace deal reached in the Belarusian capital Minsk in September between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russians.
Members of the Security Council discussed the draft on Friday and over the weekend, but Russia opposed it.
According to Sunday's election results, Alexander Zakharchenko, the prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, and his party won both presidential and parliamentary elections in the region.
In Luhansk, incumbent Prime Minister Igor Plotnitsky and his Mir Luhanshchine (Peace for Luhanshchina) party won the vote.
Russia recognized the elections despite warnings by the US, EU, and NATO.
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.
Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking regions became the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army after the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush protests.
Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Luhansk held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
Washington and its European allies accuse Russia of having a hand in the Ukraine crisis, an allegation strongly rejected by Moscow.
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