New York, 15 February 2022 (TDI): In the midst of rising tensions over Ukraine between Russia and Western countries of the NATO alliance, the UN Secretary-General warned on Monday that “diplomacy is the only option available.”

At a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York, he said that he was profoundly concerned by the escalation of tensions and the rise in speculation about a potential military war in Europe.

With Western countries and the Ukrainian government growing increasingly concerned about the possibility of a Russian invasion, which Moscow has repeatedly denied planning, the UN Secretary-General declared that “the price in human suffering, destruction, and damage to European and global security is too high to contemplate.” Moscow has repeatedly denied planning an invasion.

“Take a leap off a cliff”

The Secretary-General said that he intended to devote his whole attention to the matter in the hours and days ahead. In addition, he stated that “abandoning diplomacy for confrontation is not a step over a line, it is a dive off a cliff.”

Today, he spoke with the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine as well. During an informal meeting with Ambassadors to the United Nations Security Council, where Russia is a permanent member along with the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom, Guterres said, “In a nutshell, my message is this: do not fail the cause of peace.”

Press sources say there was a lot of diplomacy going on all day, with both countries’ leaders agreeing that there is still a “window for diplomacy” in their countries.

While Russia’s Foreign Minister is believed to have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that there is still an opportunity for diplomatic de-escalation, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared Wednesday to be a national “Day of Unity.”

In a statement, Guterres said, “I applaud the recent flurry of diplomatic contacts and engagements, including between Heads of State.” But more has to be done, “he added, noting that the world “simply cannot accept even the potential of such a catastrophic conflict.”

In order to address and resolve all issues, including the most difficult, diplomatic frameworks are necessary and must be used wherever possible. “I have a strong belief that this principle will be successful.”

He stated that the UN Country Team in Ukraine was still “fully operational” and that the Secretary-General had a “duty to appeal for the full respect of the United Nations Charter, a fundamental pillar of international law,” which clearly states that “all Members shall settle their international disputes peacefully in such a manner that international peace and security, as well as justice, are not jeopardized.”

He declared that the time had come to “defuse tensions and de-escalate actions on the ground.” Incendiary speech has no place in the workplace. “Public statements should be made with the goal of reducing tensions, not escalating them.