UN Secretary General meets Vladimir Putin in Moscow | World

The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, met this Tuesday (26) with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two will discuss the situation in Ukraine.

During the meeting, Putin said the situation in Mariupol, a city in southern Ukraine that Russia claims to have conquered, was “difficult, perhaps tragic”.

The stalemate in the city, the most attacked since the beginning of the war, was one of the main topics on the meeting’s agenda. Russian troops continue to surround the Azovstal complex, one of Europe’s biggest metallurgical plants where thousands of soldiers and civilians still resist the occupation.

In a note, the Russian state agency TASS transcribed Putin’s speeches. In one of them he confirms that more than 1300 soldiers in the city had surrendered. The Russian leader also said that civilians were being banned by Ukrainian forces from leaving the Azovstal steelworks complex.

Since last week, Kiev and Moscow have been unsuccessfully trying to reach an agreement for the peaceful withdrawal of soldiers and civilians.

According to Reuters, Putin would have told Guterres that peace talks between the two countries continue to take place online. The Kremlin chief said he hoped the negotiations would produce a positive outcome.

In the TASS report, the Russian state agency highlighted a speech by Putin confirming that humanitarian corridors are working normally for civilians who want to leave cities for Russia and also for Ukraine.

Earlier, Guterres met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom he called for an immediate ceasefire and an independent investigation into possible war crimes committed by Russian troops.

Guterres’ agenda in Moscow began precisely with a meeting with Lavrov, to whom he asked for a ceasefire as soon as possible. After the meeting, Guterres said he proposed a humanitarian corridor and expressed concern about signs of war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. The secretary-general said his priority is “to save lives and minimize human suffering”.

“The sooner we can do this, the better for Ukraine, for Russia and for the world. So far, this cannot be possible,” declared the secretary-general after the meeting. “We are extremely interested in finding ways to create conditions for effective dialogue, for a ceasefire as soon as possible, for a peaceful solution.”

After the meeting, Lavrov claimed that Ukraine had a Nazi ideology project to ban all cultural and linguistic references from Russia.

Nonetheless, he said he was interested in cooperating with the UN. He said they both have “different interpretations” of Ukraine, but that doesn’t stop the two from talking. The minister also stated that he discussed multilateralism and the role of the UN with the Secretary-General.

“We are interested in cooperating with our UN colleagues to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population,” said Lavrov.

Guterres also drew attention to the already visible consequences of the war for the entire world, such as the increase in food prices.

“The dramatic acceleration of the rise in food prices is already causing enormous suffering to populations around the world,” he said.

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