UN Security Council decides not to discuss Ukraine's language law, rejecting Russia's request

11:43, 21 May 2019
Politics
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REUTERS

Read also"Another act of absurdity": Russia wants UN Security Council meeting over Ukrainian language law

In particular, Germany's Permanent Representative to the UN Christoph Heusgen said his delegation did not apply double standards and has been consistent. It is not against holding the meeting, but merely wished to have it postponed because today marks the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, he said, adding that holding the meeting would have been tantamount to welcoming the new President with an act of intimidation. The Russian Federation adopted its new passport law when President Zelensky was elected, on the International Day of Multilateralism, he recalled, urging Russian forces to abide by the ceasefire agreement, withdraw heavy weapons and allow observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to do their job, the UN press service said in a meeting coverage on May 20.

François Delattre (France) objected to adoption of the agenda for the meeting, saying that the Russian Federation's request for the meeting on the very day Ukraine is inaugurating a new President clearly is not intended to help resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Russia's call to hold the discussion is not intended for constructive dialogue but rather to paint the new President in a negative light, he said, emphasizing that the situation in Donbas should be the Security Council's focus. The issue of the language law – granting special status to the Ukrainian language – should be dealt with in accordance with existing agreements between the two countries, he said, expressing regret that no objections to holding the meeting were heard.

Jonathan R. Cohen (United States) said there is no need for the briefing, describing it as a clear attempt to distract from the peaceful transfer of power occurring in Ukraine today. He urged other Council members vote against the agenda's adoption.

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