Five million people will have to flee if conflict in Ukraine escalates, US said at UN emergency Assembly. EU warns of “severe global implications”.

Brussels, 23 Feb 2022 – While Kiev calls its citizens to leave Russia fearing aggression, American ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned the UN General Assembly in New York that the Ukrainian crisis might soon turn into a huge humanitarian one with up to five million people forced to flee the country; DPA reports.

“If Russia continues down this path – she said – we estimate it could trigger a new refugee crisis, one of the largest the world is facing today, with up to five million more people displaced”. Many could also be be expelled in case of war the US ambassador said in today’s emergency Assembly on Ukraine.

Amid the widespread concerns, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Putin’s decision as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, inconsistent with the principles of the Charter of this United Nations. “The world is in a moment of peril and I really hoped that this wouldn’t have come”

The European Union, through its Ambassador to the UN Olof Skoog, raised the alert on a global scale. “Russia’s past and present actions against Ukraine are not a matter just for Ukraine or for Europe – he said- violations of the fundamental principles of international law, the UN Charter and basic principles of international relations directed towards another state is of serious global concern. These rules apply to all – Skoog said – and permanent members of the Security Council have particular responsibility in upholding the Charter. The lessons learned from disastrous conflicts of the 20th century, which the international community was not able to prevent, are clear in this regard.”

Skoog called Russia to make a step back from the recognition of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as there is “an obstacle to a common security space in Europe and threatens the peace and stability in Europe and worldwide. What is happening in Ukraine affects the security of each and every UN member state”.

Justine de Braeme