By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 21 – When the UN Security Council met on February 21 on “Conflicts in Europe,” it began with a minute of silence for Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Ambassador who'd died the day before. Inner City Press obituary here. Then came a briefing by OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier and a series of speeches, including by the US' Nikki Haley, see below.
Inner City Press asked Zannier, at his press conference, to specify the dangers he sees in the recognition of travel documents from Donetsk and Lugansk. He said there might be some humanitarian benefit, but it reminded him of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Zannier said OSCE has had eight drones shot down, at a cost of $1 million each, and is now using drones with a medium range of 50 to 60 kilometers as well as cameras. Inner City Press asked, since he said OSCE will do procurement through the UN Peacekeeping base in Brindisi, if OSCE can share some technology with UN Peacekeeping contingents like Chad's, which suffers deaths in Mali due to insufficient equipment.
In the Council Chamber, US Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke not only on Ukraine but also Moldova, Nagorno-Karabakh and Cyprus. (At noon Inner City Press asking about Cyprus giving citizenship to a member of the UNFICYP mission there; there was no answer). As Haley began to speak, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had to leave, to sign the condolence book for Churkin. With him was holdover UN Department of Political Affairs boss Jeffrey Feltman. Will he be present, or on the agenda, when Haley meets with Guterres on February 21 at 4:15 pm? There are many changes and reforms needed at the UN. Watch this site.