UN chief to meet separately next week with presidents of Russia, Ukraine in push for peace

UN chief to meet separately next week with presidents of Russia, Ukraine in push for peace

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 23 (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow early next week to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and then travel to Ukraine for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an effort to negotiate an end to the nearly two-month war in the East European country.

A UN spokesperson told reporters at the regular noon briefing in New York that on Tuesday, 26 April, he will have a working meeting and lunch in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and will be received by President Putin.

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently, UN Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.

Later on Friday, the UN spokesperson announced in another statement that Guterres will also travel to Ukraine next week.

He will have a working meeting with Foreign Minister Minister Dmytro Kuleba and will be received by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 28 April.

In both visits, Guterres aims to discuss “steps that can be taken right now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety, UN spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” she said. Guterres had asked Tuesday to meet with the presidents in their respective capitals.

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 UN’s top job. He appealed Tuesday for a four-day “humanitarian pause” in fighting leading up to Sunday’s Orthodox Easter holiday.

The UN chief will also meet as well with UN staff on the ground to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.

In efforts to end the war in Ukraine, the UN chief wrote separate letters to the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, requesting to meet with each of them in their respective capitals.