UN chief "alarmed" by reports of fighting in eastern Ukraine

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The UN Secretary-General has expressed alarm over reports that fighting in eastern Ukraine has spread southward.

Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson issued a statement on Thursday amidst reports that rebels have seized the coastal town of Novoazovsk near Russia.

Early this year, pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine staged demonstrations which escalated into an armed rebellion and military confrontation with Ukrainian forces.

The Secretary-General has called on the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia to continue talking to each other in order to find a peaceful way out of the conflict.

Stephane Dujarric is UN Spokesperson in New York.

"The Secretary-General is alarmed by reports that fighting in eastern Ukraine has spread southward, near the border of the Sea of Azov and the Russian Federation. If confirmed, this will mark a dangerous escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. The international community cannot allow the situation to escalate further nor can a continuation be allowed of the violence and destruction that the conflict has wrought in eastern Ukraine." (23")

The Secretary-General said "all must do their part to contribute to the peaceful resolution of this conflict, in a manner upholding Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’27″


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