U.S. calls for urgent mediation mission to Crimea
The United States has called for an urgent mediation mission to Crimea, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power said after a Security Council stakeout on Ukraine in Washington on Friday.
"The United States calls for an urgent international mediation mission to the Crimea to begin to deescalate the situation, and facilitate productive and peaceful political dialogue among all Ukrainian parties," she said.
"In terms of the mediation mission that we think is urgently needed, I think what's important is that it be seen as independent, credible," she said.
"What we think is important, again, is that there is a mission at a time when the crisis seems to be escalating rather than deescalating," she added.
"We encourage all Ukrainians to pursue their aspirations through peaceful dialogue and nonviolent political activity in combination [with] the new government's efforts – with appropriate international assistance – to bring about economic recovery and renewed hope for the future," Power said.
"This is a critical moment for the future of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in determining their own destiny, their own government, their own future," she said.
"We are gravely disturbed by reports of Russian military deployments into the Crimea. The United States calls upon Russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region, to stand down, and to allow the Ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny and to do so freely without intimidation or fear. We call upon all states to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine," she said.
In her words, the international community has an opportunity and a responsibility to stand firmly with the people of Ukraine and, in doing so, to prevent unnecessary violence.
In recent days, the world has borne witness to the overwhelming support that Ukraine's new government has received from all major parties within the country. "At the same time, we recognize that this newly formed government will require international assistance as it tries to correct the economic failures and political inequities of the past administration," she said.
A key to doing this, and to Ukraine's stability and economic security, depends on it having healthy relations with all of its neighbors, including Russia and the European Union.
According to her, the new government needs to continue its outreach to minority groups in order to help calm the situation and affirm its commitment to protecting minority rights.
"Clearly this is a message that needs especially to be heard in the Crimea, where we have seen actions and heard rhetoric that could threaten Ukraine's unity and stability. To underline this point, let me be clear that the United States would condemn any move to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity, which we expect all states to respect. The best way for the people of Crimea to achieve their goals is to work peacefully within the established political system," she said.