United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit
Moscow on Tuesday, and will meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin
following its February invasion of Ukraine, a spokesperson for the UN chief
said.

Guterres will also have a working meeting and lunch with Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Eri Kaneko, Guterres’ associate spokesperson,
told a press briefing in New York on Friday.

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to
Ukraine urgently,” Kaneko said.

The secretary-general’s office is also working with Ukraine’s
government on scheduling and preparations for a visit to Russia’s southern
neighbour, the spokesperson said.

Guterres on Tuesday asked Putin to receive him in Moscow and
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to receive him in Kyiv, in separate
letters handed to their countries’ permanent missions to the United Nations.
read more

Guterres on Tuesday also called for a four-day Orthodox Easter
humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine beginning on Thursday to allow for
the safe passage of civilians from areas of conflict and the delivery of
humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas. read more

“The secretary-general is not so much disappointed that his
own personal call was not heeded, but more that there has been no truce, that
civilians cannot leave besieged areas and that the aid that the UN and our
partners are ready to deliver to these besieged areas cannot go in,” Kaneko
said on Friday.

Guterres will further those discussions during his visit to Moscow,
the spokesperson added.

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European
country since 1945, has killed or wounded thousands. More than 12 million
people need humanitarian assistance in the country today, Guterres has said.

Since starting what it calls a special operation to demilitarize
Ukraine, Russia has bombed cities to rubble and hundreds of civilian bodies
have been found in towns after its forces withdrew. It denies targeting
civilians and says, without evidence, that signs of atrocities were staged.

Western countries and Ukraine accuse Putin of unprovoked
aggression.

 

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2022-04-23

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