UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet behind closed doors Friday afternoon to discuss the current situation of Ukraine at the request of Kiev, the council president said here.
"The president of the Security Council invites council members to a private meeting of the Security Council at 3:00 p.m. (EST) this afternoon," said an email message to reporters here from Raimonda Murmokaite, the Lithuanian permanent representative to the United Nations who holds the rotating council presidency for February.
The closed emergency council meeting comes at the request of the Ukrainian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the president said.
So far, more than 80 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured during anti-government protests in Ukraine, which started last November to back the country's European integration, but turned violent on Tuesday last week.
The UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, is expected to brief the council on the current situation of Ukraine.
Friday is the last day for Lithuania's council presidency, which Luxembourg will take over on Saturday. Lithuania started a two-year term on the Security Council on Jan. 1 as a non-permanent council member.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Yuriy Sergeyev, the Ukrainian permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote a letter on Friday to Lithuania's UN Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, asking for an urgent meeting of the 15-nation UN body on the escalating situation in Ukraine.
"Due to the deterioration of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, Ukraine, which threatens territorial integrity of Ukraine... I have the honor to request an urgent meeting of the Security Council in accordance with Articles 34 and 35 of the UN Charter," Sergeyev said in the letter.
Article 34 of the UN Charter says: "The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security."
The Ukrainian request came hours after the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a Security Council meeting when gunmen took control over airports in southern Crimea region.
The resolution also refers to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which guarantees Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Under the agreement, the United States, Russia and Britain are the guarantors of Ukraine's sovereignty and they may intervene when conflicts in Ukraine arise.
On Friday, some 50 armed men carrying Russian navy flags took control of the two airports in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, one day after gunmen seized the local parliament and government buildings.
Currently, the situation in the Russian-speaking Crimea is tense and unstable, interim Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya said Friday, adding it was unclear "who these people are, what they want and plan to do."
Ukraine has called on Russia to hold bilateral talks on the situation in Crimea, but has not received any reply from Russia, Deshchytsya told a press conference.
Ukraine hopes the Crimea issue will be solved through negotiations and Russia can understand Kiev does not have much time to deal with the crisis at this juncture, Deshchytsya said.