Ban Ki-moon heading to Russia and Ukraine: UN
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is senn in this February 19, 2014 file photo at UN headquarters in New York. AFP PhotoUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was on Wednesday preparing to set off for Russia and the Ukraine to encourage a peaceful settlement of the crisis threatening conflict between them.
Ban will meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday and with Ukraine's interim leaders President Olexsandr Turchynov and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev on Friday.
"The Secretary-General has consistently called for a solution that is guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter," Ban's office said, urging "all parties to resolve the current crisis peacefully."
Moscow and Kiev are on the brink of conflict following a breakdown in relations in the wake of last month's overthrow of Ukraine's former Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.
On Tuesday, Putin signed a treaty absorbing the Ukrainian region of Crimea into Russia and on Wednesday pro-Russian troops stormed a Ukrainian naval headquarters on the peninsula.
Much of the international community, including the United States and the European Union, rejects the annexation of Crimea as illegal, but Moscow in turn refuse to recognize the Ukrainian government.