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UN reaches consensus on Ukraine for the first time

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a statement on Friday supporting the secretary-general’s efforts to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine, in the first such display of unity since February 24. Russia’s agreement demonstrated Moscow’s readiness for diplomacy, said Mexico, which co-authored the statement.

“The Security Council expresses strong support for the efforts of the secretary-general in the search for a peaceful solution,” says the statement, according to AP. 

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The Council also “expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine” and “recalls that all member states have undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.”

While the AP says the text of the statement does not contain the phrases “war,” “conflict,” “invasion” or “special military operation,” the Security Council press release did refer to an “invasion” of Ukraine. 

The US has also requested Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deliver a briefing to the Security Council on this matter, “in due course.” The entire meeting on Friday lasted only about a minute.

READ MORE: UK PM scuttled Kiev-Moscow peace talks – Ukrainian media

Russia’s support for the statement, drafted by Mexico and Norway, shows Moscow’s readiness for diplomacy, Mexico’s permanent representative the UN Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez told TASS.

Guterres visited Moscow and Kiev in late April. So far, he has successfully arranged two evacuations of civilians from the Azovstal factory in Mariupol, where “Azov” militants loyal to the government in Kiev and other Ukrainian fighters are holed up.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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