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On Ukraine at UNSC, Russia Makes 4 Point Proposal, UN Sidelined

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 11 -- Amid fighting and censorship in Eastern Ukraine, when Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin scheduled a press stakeout for 11:30 am on July 11, that seemed sure to be the topic.

  But Churkin went beyond the usual stakeout to read out a four point plan or elements for a resolution that he said had just be emailed to the Council's other 14 members. Inner City Press obtained a hard copy, the points are:

-Deep concern about the increasing number of casualties among the civilian population, including women and children, as a result of intensified combat operations as well as about the destruction of civilian infrastructure.

-Support for international proposals aimed at the settlement of the domestic crisis in Ukraine, namely the Geneva Statement of April 17 and the Berlin Joint Declaration of July 2.

-Imperative demand addressed to the Ukrainian parties to the conflict to cease violence and fully implement the provisions of the abovementioned documents.

 -Call on the OSCE to facilitate the settlement of the conflict by means of its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

  Inner City Press asked Churkin about Kyiv authorities blocking Russian or even pro-Russian television channels. Churkin called it an "adamant campaign" and noted the killing of journalists, not only Russian, in the East of Ukraine.

  Moments later at the day's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq for the UN's reaction to the proposal - there was none - and about the blocking of television channels. A generic answer about freedom of expression was given. But where is the follow-up?

  Inner City Press asked Haq about the UN, particularly its Department of Political Affairs, being marginalized on Ukraine (because it was not seem as impartial, particularly after leaked telephone calls on YouTube). Haq said it is all up to the Security Council. But doesn't the UN Secretariat have some Good Offices role? Not in this case, apparently. So, where?

  On the economic front, in the International Monetary Fund's Article IV report on Russia, out from under embargo on July 1, the IMF recounts sanctions and counter-sanctions but not its own role in Ukraine including austerity conditions imposed.

   The IMF recites how the US, EU, Japan, Switzerland, and other countries “have adopted sanctions against Ukrainian and Russian individuals and entities in response to the unfolding situation in Ukraine, as well as the suspension of bilateral negotiations on a variety of topics.”

   Then, the IMF continues, “on March 20 and March 24, Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions on U.S. and Canadian government officials. Russia also passed a bill to create a national payment system insulated from foreign companies’ influence, and is considering the creation of a national rating agency.”

  So is that a good thing? The IMF doesn't say.

   Watch this site.


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