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Crimea Meeting Lacks 4 UNSC Members, E. Ukraine Banking Cut-Off Raised

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 19 -- When UN humanitarian operations chief John Ging spoke to the press about conditions in Eastern Ukraine on March 19, he said aid groups could not pay their workers there due to the cut-off of the banking system.

   Inner City Press asked Ging if he had raised this in his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine; Ging said yes but not the deputy prime minister's response or any fix.

  Later on March 19 Inner City Press asked the Permanent Representatives of Ukraine and Lithuania about what Ging had said. Ukraine's Yuriy Sergeyev said his country is open to any objective criticism; he read out a long statement about recent votes of the Rada in Kyiv and vowed that the issue of Crimea would continue to be raised in the UN.

  That is why Lithunia's Permanent Representative Raimonda Murmokaite was at the UN Television stakeout on the first floor, following an “Arria formula” meeting about Crimea with Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev.

  On what the UN's John Ging had said, Permanent Representative Murmokaite said while of course Kyiv could do more, the fault lay mostly with the separatists and their supporters. Russia had said it would not attend the Arria formula meeting; as it turned out, also declining to attend were China, Angola and Venezuela.

  One long-time Council watcher told Inner City Press this was the largest number of no-shows for a Arria formula meeting in memory.

  Speaking of memory, it seemed ironic that the first floor stakeout where Murmokaite and Dzhemilev spoke shared the wide UN hallway with a large memorial to the life of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.  Murmokaite pointed out, correctly, that she spoke in front of a UN logo backdrop brought to the first floor stakeout location.

   Further inquiry by Inner City Press gleaned that the request had been to hold the stakeout in the 1B level, but it was denied due to too many people walking by that location. The battle for space in the UN may mirror that in the real world outside. Inner City Press tries to cover both. Watch this site.


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