UN chief visits Russia and Ukraine to help resolve Crimea crisisListen /
The path towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine is still open.
That's what has been said by the Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before his departure for Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday.
Mr. Ban's visit comes after the regional parliament in Crimea declared independence and its wish to become part of the Russian Federation following Sunday's referendum.
UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq explains.
"What he has made clear is that he wants to build constructive dialogue and he has made it clear that we are at the crossroads. As he said, the focus must be to engage in direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev aimed at agreeing on specific measures that would pave the way towards a diplomatic solution. And so he is going to go to both Moscow and Kiev to see what progress can be made on that end. He believes that although matters have been difficult in recent days, the path towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis is still open."
In Russia the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials.
The Secretary-General is on Friday expected to travel to Kiev to hold talks with Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other officials.
While in the Ukrainian capital, Mr. Ban will also meet with members of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission and representatives of civil society, the Deputy Spokesperson added.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.