Photo: Linas Antanas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania,issued a strong statement demanding a halt to violence in Ukraine. It was reported on February 19 at UN Headquarters in New York that the Lithuanian Foreign Minster was flying directly to Ukraine from New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.
The front page of the February 19 edition of “The New York Times” stated that “Kiev Protesters Turn Square Into Fiery Ring to Thwart Police”. With Lithuania holding the Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of February, the spotlight was on Lithuania and other members of the powerful UN Security Council at UN Headquarters in New York and its reaction to the violence
in Ukraine which seems to be spinning out of control.
In a statement issued on February 18, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius said: “We condemn the outbreak of violence and the use of force in Kiev today( February 18),. We express our sincerest condolences to all of those who have suffered and to relatives of the victims.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister also said that “we demand to halt violence immediately and thoroughly investigate all the incidents which have resulted in deaths and injuries, and to arraign the perpetrators before court”. He added,”once again, we invite the European Union member states to discuss a possibility of applying target measures against those responsible for the use
He also remarked, “we call on the Ukrainian Government and opposition leaders to immediately resume the negotiations on forming a new government and implementing a constitutional reform, because the long-lasting political crisis makes the situation in the country spin out of control.”
As the Lithuanian Foreign Minister explained. “today, the future of Ukraine is decided in the streets of Kiev. We invite the Ukrainian political leaders to undertake responsibility,to insure respect of human rights and freedoms, and to solve the political crisis effectively. Only a constructive dialog can stop the outbreak of violence and prevent any further provocations.”
On the afternoon of February 19 at UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Secretary-General continued to follow developments in Ukraine with increasing alarm. Ban Ki-moon urged ” an immediate end to the violence in the strongest terms and again stressed that resorting to such measures by any side is totally unacceptable. He equally urged the Government to desist from the use of excessive force underscoring the need for the authorities to abide by international human rights norms. ”
All in all, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called for: ” the immediate renewal of genuine, constructive dialogue to resolve the deepening political and security crisis. He also appealed to the Ukrainian authorities to act decisively in brokering a peaceful end to the crisis in a way that is in keeping with the demands and the aspirations of the Ukrainian people.”