UN Chief warns of "dangerous downward spiral" in Ukraine

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine.UN Photo/Mark Garten

The UN Secretary-General has warned of a downward spiral in the Ukraine conflict if all the parties concerned continue to harden their positions and sharpen their rhetoric.

In a briefing to the press, Mr. Ban Ki-moon urged the parties to avoid provocation and any hasty decisions in the coming days.

He encouraged them to engage in direct dialogue aimed at agreeing on specific measures that will pave the way towards a diplomatic solution.

Although it has so far proven elusive, he added, the path towards a peaceful resolution to the crisis is still open.

But he warned that the situation could deteriorate.

"If positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is a great risk of dangerous downward spiral. The Security Council has met many times on the matter, yet the international community has not yet been able to de-escalate the situation."

Earlier, the Secretary-General met with the Ukraine's prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to discuss the need for all concerned to respect the law in an increasingly complex and threatening situation.

He reiterated that the principles of the charter, including sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected.

Mr. Ban also spoke by phone to Russian President Vladmir Putin.

They discussed the need to work towards a "durable and fair" political solution.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’26″

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