UN chief will urge Russia to de-escalate Ukraine crisis

GENEVA - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said on Monday that he would ask Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia refrain from any acts or rhetoric that would further escalate the crisis in Ukraine and instead seek dialogue with authorities in Kiev.


Ban said that his deputy Jan Eliasson, who had just arrived in Kiev, would "convey the same message to Ukrainian authorities".


"It is now of utmost importance to restore calm and to de-escalate tensions immediately through dialogue," Ban told a news conference in Geneva shortly before holding talks with Lavrov. "I will urge that the Russian Federation refrain from any acts and rhetoric that could further escalate the situation and instead to engage constructively and through peaceful means with Ukraine." (Reuters)