UN chief to meet Putin and Zelenskiy next week

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow next week to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and then head to Ukraine for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Guterres will head to Moscow on Tuesday and meet Putin as well as having a working meeting and lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Eri Kaneko, Guterres’ associate spokesperson, told a news briefing in New York on Friday.

Guterres has had little contact with Zelensky since the war began, speaking with him just once by telephone, on March 26. Putin has not taken Guter-res’ phone calls, or had any contact with him, since the UN chief stated that the invasion violated the UN charter.

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” Kaneko said. He will meet with Zelenskiy on Thursday, foreign min-ister Dmytro Kuleba and staff at UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance efforts, the UN spokespersons office said in a state-ment.

Guterres had asked to meet the leaders of both nations in separate letters handed to their countries’ permanent missions to the United Nations.

Guterres on Tuesday called for a four-day Or-thodox Easter humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine beginning on Thursday to allow for the safe passage of civilians from areas of conflict and the delivery of humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas.—AP

 

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