UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday (Feb 22) urged Russia to fully comply with the global body's charter, condemning Moscow's recognition of the "independence" of two breakaway Ukrainian regions.
"The principles of the UN Charter are not an a la carte menu.... Member States have accepted them all and they must apply them all," Guterres told reporters.
The secretary-general called Russia's recognition of "the so-called 'independence'" of two eastern Ukraine regions "a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine".
"It is a death blow to the Minsk Agreements endorsed by the Security Council," the UN chief added, referring to a 2014 deal seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had also announced on Monday that the military would mount a "peacekeeping" mission in the territories in Ukraine's Donbass region that are already under control of Russian-backed separatists.
Guterres blasted the move as a "perversion of the concept of peacekeeping". "When troops of one country enter the territory of another country without its consent, they are not impartial peacekeepers. They are not peacekeepers at all," he said, calling for an immediate ceasefire and a "return to the path of dialogue and negotiations".