guterres: UN chief Guterres arrives in Ukraine after visit to Russia – Times of India


UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday to hold talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, following his visit to Moscow, where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who “agreed “in principle” to the UN’s involvement in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
“I have arrived in Ukraine after a visit to Moscow. We will continue our work to expand humanitarian aid and secure the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones. The sooner this war ends, the better – for the sake of Ukraine, Russia and the world,” Guterres tweeted.
Guterres and his team traveled from Rzeszow, Poland to Kiev, Ukraine.
He will meet Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday and is also expected to make a field visit.
According to an excerpt from his tete-a-tete meeting with Putin, Guterres reiterated the United Nations’ position on Ukraine, discussing proposals for humanitarian aid and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, particularly with regard to the situation in Mariupol .
“The President agreed in principle to the involvement of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Follow-up discussions will be held with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Russian Defense Ministry,” the readout said.
Two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Guterres traveled to Putin and Zelenskyy who called for “urgent steps to save lives, end human suffering and bring peace to Ukraine”.
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have come to Moscow as a messenger of peace. My purpose and my agenda are closely linked to save lives and reduce suffering,” Guterres said at a press conference with Russia’s foreign minister in Moscow. Affairs Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.
Guterres said Russia believes that what is taking place in Ukraine is a special military operation, while the UN, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions, believes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and against the Charter of the United States.
“But it is my deep belief that the sooner we end this war, the better – for the people of Ukraine, for the people of the Russian Federation and those far beyond,” he said.
The UN chief underlined the urgent need for humanitarian corridors that are truly safe, effective and respected by all to evacuate civilians and deliver much-needed aid.
“To this end, I have proposed the creation of a Humanitarian Contact Group, bringing together the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United Nations, to explore options for opening safe corridors, with local cessation of hostilities, and to ensure that they be effective,” he says.
Guterres acknowledged that “we are facing a crisis within a crisis in Mariupol”, Guterres proposed a coordinated work of the UN, the Red Cross and the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces to enable the safe evacuation of those civilians who want to leave, both in the Azovstal factory and in the city, in any direction, and to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid.
He also expressed his concern for the civilians who had died in the conflict, and for hundreds of thousands of people trapped in life-threatening conditions as a result of the conflict.
“I am concerned about the repeated reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and possible war crimes, and they require independent investigation for effective accountability,” he said.
Guterres stressed that as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, “we are seeing shock waves worldwide”.
The dramatic acceleration in food and energy price increases, which has already taken place over the past year, is causing enormous suffering for hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable people worldwide. This comes on top of the shock of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and unequal access to recovery resources, which particularly disadvantage developing countries around the world, he said.
“So, the sooner peace is established, the better – for the sake of Ukraine, Russia and the world,” he said.
On Monday, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary general, responded to criticism from Zelenskyy about Guterres’ visits.
The Ukrainian leader had said that “it is simply wrong to go first to Russia and then to Ukraine”, adding that “there is no justice and no logic in this order”.
Haq said the most important thing was to visit the two countries and meet the leaders.
“We worked out an itinerary and indeed, we worked it out with both sides, and both sides had accepted it in the days before he went on a trip. So he does that. It doesn’t make any special sense that he’s visiting a country for it.” the other,” he said.

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