NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 2 – Deeply concerned for the escalation of tensions occurred in Donbass in the last days, Italy urged the parties to immediately stop the intense fighting erupted around Avdiivka, which involved the use of heavy weapons, proscribed by the Minsk Agreements, and caused casualties and sufferings to the civilian population. Speaking during a UNSC meeting on the situation in Ukraine, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini expressed concern for the dire humanitarian situation in the area: “In the current harsh winter conditions and with freezing temperatures thousands of lives are at risk on both sides of the line of contact because of the destruction of the local power and water filtration plants”.
Italy called on all parties to allow the urgent repair of critical infrastructure, to grant safe, full and unrestricted access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and to humanitarian organizations. Protection of the civilian population must be kept as the highest priority by all sides. In this regard, Italy promptly responded to the UN humanitarian call with a contribution of 1 million euros to the WFP and UNICEF programs on food security and mine risk education in conflict-afflicted areas.
The meeting marked the first appearance in the Security Council of the new US Permanent Representative, Nikki Haley, who took the floor to offer a strong condemnation of Russia, calling on Moscow to de-escalate violence in eastern Ukraine and saying that US sanctions against Moscow will remain in place until it withdraws from Crimea.
“The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea,” said Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s envoy to the world body. “Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.” Haley’s remarks were notable for the stark difference between her rhetoric and Donald Trump’s.