Lithuania urges UN Security Council to address Crimea crisis
The UN Security Council's current president, Lithuania, on Friday said it would ask the body to address the spiralling tensions in Crimea, Ukraine's mostly Russian-speaking peninsula.
The new pro-Western government in Kiev has appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after it accused Russia of staging an "armed invasion" of Crimea on Friday as pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula's main airport.
"I instructed our (UN) mission to take all possible action to ensure that the security situation in Ukraine would be included on UN Security Council agenda," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told reporters in Vilnius.
The minister admitted the move could face hurdles as it will need support from veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council members, including Russia.
Lithuania in January started a two-year term on the UN Security Council, and took over its rotating presidency for February.
"What is happening in Crimea looks like a military aggression and the region's occupation," Linkevicius said, adding he has summoned the the Russian ambassador to Vilnius to explain his country's position on events there.
He had urged direct talks between Ukraine and Russia on the situation in Crimea on Thursday, after holding talks in Kiev with Ukraine's new prime minister and interim president.
The first republic to break free from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania has rocky ties with Moscow and is jittery about Russian military moves.
During its stint as European Union president last year, Lithuania played a key role in efforts to seal an EU association pact with Ukraine.
Deposed President Viktor Yanukovych rejected the agreement at the Vilnius summit in November in favour of an aid deal with Russia, sparking three months of protests which ultimately led to his ouster at the weekend.
© 2014 AFP