United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday has called for a cease-fire in Ukraine at his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Guterres is visiting Moscow and is then scheduled to visit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, this week.
“We are extremely interested in finding ways in order to create the conditions for effective dialogue, create the conditions for a cease-fire as soon as possible, create the conditions for a peaceful solution,” Guterres said at a meeting with Lavrov.
Guterres also said he wanted to reduce the impact of fighting in Ukraine on food security in other parts of the world. Lavrov said they would discuss “the situation around Ukraine that acts as a catalyst for a great number of problems which had piled up over recent decades in the Euro-Atlantic region.”
He was later due to meet President Vladimir Putin.
U.N. projects 8.3M refugees
The U.N. refugee agency is launching a new appeal for funds for the crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine that projects up to 8.3 million people will have to flee the country by year-end.
The projection was announced Tuesday as part of a new $1.85 billion regional response plan from UNHCR aimed at supporting refugees from Ukraine after Russia’s war began on Feb. 24. It far outstrips the agency’s previous refugee estimates, which now stand at just over 5.2 million.
The exodus has exceeded the worst-case predictions of the Geneva-based agency, which it has called the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
The response plan would help refugees who have fled to neighboring countries including Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, but also other countries in the region, including Belarus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
The U.N. estimates that nearly 8 million people are displaced within Ukraine, and another 13 million people are believed to be trapped in war-affected areas of Ukraine. The country had a pre-war population of about 44 million.
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