Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive next Tuesday UN Secretary General António Guterres, who is traveling to Moscow to discuss the Russian military campaign in Ukraine, the Kremlin reported today.
“On Tuesday, April 26, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, arrives in Moscow for negotiations with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He will also be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin,” said Dmitri Peskov, presidential spokesman, to the local press. This week Guterres sent two letters to Putin and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he asked to receive him in their respective capitals. As explained by the United Nations, the secretary general proposed to them to address the “urgent steps to bring peace to Ukraine.”
Russia’s veto in the Security Council has prevented the UN from being able to play a mediating role between the sides in conflict. A few days ago, Guterres asked Russia and Ukraine to declare a four-day “Easter truce” starting Thursday, a proposal that kyiv accepted, but Moscow rejected.
After announcing the capture of the port city of Mariupol (Sea of Azov), Putin only ordered his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigú, to cancel the assault on the Avostal steel mill, where some two thousand fighters and a thousand soldiers would be entrenched. civilians. Putin argued that such an operation could cost too many human lives in the ranks of the Russian side. Ukraine did support the initiative to declare a “humanitarian pause” and thus help evacuate civilians from the areas hardest hit by the fighting.
Meanwhile, the pro-Russian militias in Donbas doubted its effectiveness and accused kyiv of breaking previous truces during the eight years of conflict in the region. In a telephone conversation with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, Putin defended that Moscow opens humanitarian corridors daily to evacuate the civilian population.