(PHOTO: XINHUA NEWS AGENCY NIUXIAOLEI)
I wish to congratulate the Republic of Korea on its assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month and to express appreciation to the Ambassador of Nigeria and her team for their outstanding leadership of the work of the Council last month. I also wish to thank Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Feltman for his briefing.
In recent days, the situation in some areas in south-eastern Ukraine has been characterized by ongoing tensions and escalation that have resulted in casualties. That is a matter of deep concern to China. China has indicated on many occasions its principled position on the question of Ukraine. We hope that the parties concerned will proceed from the need to safeguard the fundamental interests of various ethnic groups in Ukraine, maintain regional peace and stability, keep calm, exercise restraint and avoid further deterioration of the situation.
A political solution is the only way out of the crisis in Ukraine. A fundamental settlement to the crisis in Ukraine needs to take into consideration the history and the reality, and accommodate the legitimate rights, interests and aspirations of various regions and ethnic groups within Ukraine, as well as the legitimate concerns of all parties, so as to achieve a balance of their interests. For some time, various parties, including China, have worked actively to promote peace and facilitate negotiations. The four-party talks in Geneva among the Russian Federation, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine agreed on the need to take measures to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. We hope that the parties concerned will stick to dialogue and consultations, effectively implement the agreements reached, forcefully promote the process of political settlement and achieve stability and development in Ukraine as soon as possible.
China calls on all parties to seek a political settlement to the question of Ukraine through dialogue, not confrontation. We will continue to support international good offices that will help to de-escalate the situation and promote a political settlement.
Thank you, Mr. President.