UN Secretary General meets Putin

UN Secretary General
UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Moscow, 27 April 2022 (TDI): The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, met the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The têtê-a-têtê meeting focused on humanitarian assistance and the evacuation of civilians in the encircled city of Mariupol. Russia has agreed ‘in principle ‘ to Cross involvement by the UN and Red Cross in evacuations from the city.

The Chief also met Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and discussed the situation in Ukraine during the proceedings. He informed the reporters that he had a ‘frank discussion’ “and it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine.” while interacting with the Russian Foreign Minister.

According to Russia, they are conducting special military operations in Ukraine, while the UN considers the invasion in Ukraine as a direct violation of the UN Charter. “But it is my deep conviction that the sooner we end this war, the better – for the people of Ukraine, the people of the Russian Federation, and those far beyond,” he said.

The chief added that the UN has repeatedly urged the need for a ceasefire among both countries and initiated political dialogue to protect the lives of civilians. He referred to the attacks on civilians on Donbas, which resulted in thousands of casualties.

He added that repeated reports of violations and war crimes would require independent investigations for effective accountability.

“The President agreed, in principle, to the involvement of the United Nations and the International Committee for the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol,” said the UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

The follow-up discussions will be held with the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, and the Russian Defence Ministry.

Establishing humanitarian corridors

While urging the need for humanitarian corridors to protect civilians, the Secretary-General said, “We urgently need humanitarian corridors that are truly safe and effective and respected by all to evacuate civilians and deliver much-needed assistance.”

He proposed the establishment of a Humanitarian Contact Group consisting of Russian, Ukrainian, and UN Representatives. He further proposed to encourage collaborative work between Russia, Ukrainian, the Red Cross, and the UN for the evacuation of the civilians from Mariupol.

He stressed resolving ‘crisis within a crisis” by providing life-saving assistance to the people.

The meeting of the UN Secretary-General and Ukrainian President is scheduled for Thursday.

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