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Home World News Washington Post World News UN chief meets with Putin to push for peace in Ukraine

UN chief meets with Putin to push for peace in Ukraine

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UNITED NATIONS – UN Secretary-General António Guterres plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to make an urgent personal plea for peace in Ukraine, the world body said Friday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Guterres will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday and that Putin will also host the UN chief.

UN spokesman Eri Kaneko said talks about a similar Guterres visit to Ukraine are underway.

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to urgently bring peace to Ukraine,” she said, adding that Guterres wants to talk about “steps that can be taken now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety. come.

Guterres requested a meeting with both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in their respective capitals on Tuesday.

Guterres has urged Russia to stop its attack since it began two months ago, in what he called “the saddest moment” in his five years in the top UN post. He called on Tuesday for a four-day “humanitarian break” in the fighting ahead of Sunday’s Orthodox Easter holiday.

“Stop the bloodshed and destruction. Open a window for dialogue and peace,” he begged.

Earlier this month, Guterres sent the UN’s top humanitarian official to Moscow and Kiev to explore the possibilities of a ceasefire.

But the secretary-general had wondered whether he should travel himself to push for peace. In a recent letter, former UN officials called on him to step up his personal, public engagement.

Whatever rapprochement has been made privately possible, the now-planned trip “is a visible symbol of what the United Nations should stand for, which is peace and security,” one of the letter writers, former UN chief political affairs officer Jeffrey Feltman, said. said by phone Friday.

“I don’t think any of us should have had undue expectations of what the Secretary General will be able to accomplish, but he has considerable moral power,” said Feltman, who is now visiting the Brookings Institution in Washington. “It is important that the Secretary-General has these talks.”

Former Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon went to Moscow and Kiev in March 2014 to try to advance talks and diplomacy when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.



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