UN leader meets Russian envoy on Kiev

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IOL pic mar3 united nations ban ki-moon Associated Press United Nations leader Ban Ki-moon. File picture: Lars Krabbe

Geneva - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday under the shadow of a spiralling crisis in Ukraine, his spokeswoman said.

The UN chief will have “a working lunch” with Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, his spokeswoman Corinne Momal-Vanian told AFP.

The two men are to meet at the Russian mission in Geneva at 1.15pm (12h15 GMT), she said without providing details about the issues to be discussed.

Before their meeting, both Ban and Lavrov were set to address the opening of the Human Rights Council's 25th session on Monday morning.

Their meeting will come after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday won approval from Russia's upper house for the sending of Russian troops to Ukraine, amid the standoff in Crimea following the ousting of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich.

The situation in the former Soviet state, rapidly escalating into the worst crisis since the Cold War, is not on the agenda during the most important of the Human Rights Council's three annual meetings, which opened Monday and will last until March 28.

But with more than 100 ministers and other dignitaries set to attend, the crisis will likely be at the forefront of many discussions. - Sapa-AFP

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