United Nations Secretary General, AntÃ³nio Guterres, has cancelled his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo due to worsening situation in Ukraine, according to his spokesman, StÃ©phane Dujarric.
Dujarric in a note to UN correspondents on Monday stated, â€œIn light of the deteriorating situation regarding Ukraine, the secretary-general is canceling his mission to the DR Congoâ€ .
NAN reports that Dujarric at a news conference had earlier told journalists that the secretary-general would arrive DR Congo on Tuesday.
Guterres was to attend the 10th Summit of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region.
The UN chief was particularly concerned about reports of civilian casualties in the fighting between Moscow-backed separatists and government forces along the Line of Contact in eastern Ukraine and demanded an immediate ceasefire.
â€œI can tell you that the Secretary-General is greatly concerned with the latest reports of increased ceasefire violations, including the use of heavy weapons across the contact line in Eastern Ukraine.
â€œWe are particularly concerned regarding reports of civilian casualties, targeting of critical civilian infrastructure and evacuations.
â€œWe underline our call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, maximum restraint and for all parties to avoid any actions and statements that would escalate tensions further.
â€œAll issues must be addressed through diplomacy,â€ Dujarric quoted Guterres, as saying.
The UN said it would continue to support Ukraineâ€™s independence and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders amid fears of an imminent Russian invasion.
â€œThe secretary-general is greatly concerned by the decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
â€œHe calls for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, as endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 2202 (2015),â€ Dujarric said in a statement.
According to him, the secretary-general considers the decision of the Russian Federation to be a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
â€œThe United Nations, in line with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, remains fully supportive of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders.â€