The U.N. chief is planning to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to call for urgent peace in Ukraine, the global body said Friday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Guterres is due to meet Tuesday with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and that Putin will also host the U.N. chief.
U.N. spokesperson Eri Kaneko said discussions about a similar Guterres visit to Ukraine are underway.
“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” she said, adding that Guterres aims to discuss “steps that can be taken right now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety.
Guterres asked Tuesday to meet with both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy 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 United Nations’ top job. He appealed Tuesday for a four-day “humanitarian pause” in fighting leading up to Sunday’s Orthodox Easter holiday.
“Stop the bloodshed and destruction. Open a window for dialogue and peace,” he implored.
He sent the U.N.’s top humanitarian official to Moscow and Kyiv earlier this month to explore the possibilities of a cease-fire, but Guterres had faced questions about whether he himself should travel to press for peace.
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