Gunmen threaten UN senior adviser in Ukraine's Crimea region

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Robert Serry (centre right), Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General, briefs Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) at the end of his mission to Ukraine. 02 March 2014 Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A senior adviser to the UN Secretary-General has been exposed to what has been described as "a very regrettable incident" in the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Robert Serry was on a mission to the region on Wednesday to evaluate the situation on the ground.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson briefed reporters about what happened to Mr. Serry from Kiev.

"He has been exposed to a very regrettable incident. He had just visited the naval Sevastopol, the capital of Crimea and on his way out he was threatened and went to his car, and there were unidentified people, some of them armed, telling him to leave and go to the airport. He refused but the car couldn't move and he decided to leave the car." (27")

The Deputy Secretary-General said that Mr. Serry decided to walk back to his hotel.

The UN officials are in Ukraine as part of diplomatic efforts to help defuse tensions in Crimea, where Russian troops are reported to have been deployed.

The turmoil in Ukraine started in November last year when thousands of people staged protests in Kiev to press for integration with the European Union.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15''


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