UN human rights envoy cancels visit to Crimea

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. says Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic has canceled a visit to Crimea primarily because the airport is closed to flights coming from other parts of Ukraine.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Simonovic was in Kharkiv in pro-Russian eastern Ukraine on Tuesday and plans to travel to Lviv in the pro-European west on Wednesday to assess the human rights situation.

"What he decides to do over the next few days is really to be seen," Dujarric said.

Dujarric said Simonovic is discussing allegations of human rights violations, rights-related measures that can help de-escalate tensions, and options for the U.N. to strengthen the protection and safety of minorities.