By Truthout at 1:10 PM 5/30/2020 (PDT)
The United Nations Security Council is meeting now to discuss how to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, which began in 2014 between Ukraine and Pro-Russian separatist forces. There have been reliable accounts of the Russian government funneling arms to the Pro-Russian forces, though the Russian Federation has refused to comment. Though there hasn’t been much conflict recently, the situation could easily erupt into violence.
I had the chance to sit down with the delegate of Tunisia to discuss their stance on the conflict. Tunisia and South Africa are developing a resolution focusing on neutrality. They want to “focus on the humanitarian side” of the conflict, according to Tunisia. Focusing on a militaristic plan would cause a conflict between global superpower and lead to unnecessary loss of life. Instead, Tunisia and their Bloc want to focus on having a peaceful referendum on whether to leave Ukraine and providing Ukraine humanitarian aid at their request.
The other bloc, headed by Estonia, agrees with these points. The difference is how to carry out the referendum. Estonia’s bloc believes that a militaristic peacekeeping presence is necessary to successfully carry out the referendum. According to Vietnam, in the past Russia has used voter intimidation tactics to influence the outcomes of referendums and elections. The US government is no stranger to this and its harmful outcomes. Tunisia disagreed, stating that having armed forces around the referendum greatly increases the chances of a conflict breaking out.
Despite this key disagreement, both blocs agree that their priority is to peacefully end the conflict. Since 2014, 13,000 people have lost their lives and over a million have been displaced from their homes, according to Estonia. The goal is to help people.
There was discussion about using the referendum to establish a semi-autonomous region for Pro-Russian separatists, though the details are still being discussed. As of right now, the blocs are working to compromise and come to one resolution. It remains to be seen what they’ll agree on.
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