Guterres stressed in a statement that the Russian recognition “contradicts the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
“The United Nations, in line with relevant General Assembly resolutions, remains fully supportive of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to hold an annual meeting on the “temporary occupation” of Ukraine, which prevailed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In his statement, the UN Secretary-General urged “all parties concerned to focus their efforts on the immediate cessation of hostilities” and “the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure” and thus prioritize diplomacy to resolve the crisis.
According to diplomats, discussions began on Monday afternoon to hold an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council as soon as possible, to discuss Russia’s recognition of the independence of the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.