Ukraine urges UN help over eastern unrest

14th April 2014, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine's interim president on Monday invited the United Nations to join his army's "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Kremlin militants who have seized buildings in the ex-Soviet state's Russified east.

"We would welcome your assistance ... in conducting a joint anti-terrorist operation in the east," the Ukrainian leader's office quoted Oleksandr Turchynov as telling UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Such a joint operation would allow what he called "professionals and observers" to ensure all actions taken were lawful and legitimate.

The official statement did not explicitly say that Ukraine was asking for assistance from peacekeepers and it was not immediately clear what role Kiev envisioned for the proposed UN team.

Turchynov has announced the launch of a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" designed to regain control of police and government buildings that have been seized by pro-Russian militants in several cities in recent days.

The Ukrainian statement said Ban had voiced "full support for you and the Ukrainian people" but provided few other details of the phone call.

© 2014 AFP

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