UN Secretary General António Guterres, criticized for his passivity during the war in Ukraine, visited Russia on Tuesday, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In a conversation between Putin and Guterres at a six-meter-long white table where the Russian leader has hosted people like French President Emmanuel Macronia, a Kremlin official acknowledged the situation in Mariupol as “tragic,” but said “There are no more military operations there.”
“The situation there is complicated – and tragic. But it’s simple. I spoke today with (Turkish) President Erdogan, and he said that military operations are taking place there. No, the military operations are over. There are no military operations in Mariupol, “he said, and he also argued that Buchan’s massacres were” playful. “
“There was a provocation in Bucha where the Russian army had nothing to do. We know who organized this provocation, by what means, and who carried it out,” he added.
These statements by Putin come after Russia was accused of attacking one of the human corridors used in Mariupol. “We’re talking about Russia’s humanitarian corridors, which they say don’t work. No, they’re lying. Runners are working with our system to make sure” more than 100,000 people have left Mariupol and they can go anywhere. “
Despite Putin’s statements, Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s president quoted by the Guardian, said there had been 35 free raids on the Azovstal plant in the past 24 days, one of which caused a fire in one of the workshops hiding civilians, leaving some trapped under the rubble.
The Russian president, who again accused Ukraine of “genocide” and even after Guterres had accused him of “invading” the country, said he “hopes to reach an agreement through diplomatic channels” during Russia’s “military operation.” is still running.
Ceasefire and the creation of human corridors In a meeting with the Foreign Minister, the UN Secretary-General called for a ceasefire “as soon as possible”.
“We are extremely interested in finding ways to create the conditions for an effective dialogue, a ceasefire as soon as possible and a peaceful solution,” António Guterres said before meeting Lavrov, quoted by Reuters.
One of Guterres’ proposals was to create humanitarian corridors that would allow the safe evacuation of Ukrainian citizens, namely to Mariupol. “My proposal is to ensure a joint effort by Ukraine, Russia, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to evacuate civilians from Mariupol in the direction they want,” the secretary-general said at a news conference. presence and added its readiness to mobilize resources in this area torn apart by armed conflict.
“The UN is ready to fully mobilize its human and logistical resources to help save lives in Mariupol,” he said, proposing coordinated work with the Red Cross to allow citizens to rule the Azovstal steel plant, Ukraine’s last stronghold of resistance. leave this place without danger. According to Guterres, Putin allowed the evacuation of citizens through this “alliance.”
Russia’s foreign minister said Russia may be ready for a ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors, but left a warning. “If they continue to send weapons to Ukraine, it will be difficult to reach an agreement,” Lavrov said.
Another issue that the Minister wanted to make clear was the rejection of international mediators at this stage in the negotiations with Ukraine, citing difficulties with the country’s delegation.
“When you look at the way the Ukrainian delegation behaved in the negotiations, how President Zelensky behaved … Of course, that is frustrating. Apparently the negotiations are not particularly interesting to them, he added.
Failure to create humanitarian corridors Despite the creation of humanitarian corridors by Guterres, none of these routes were created this Tuesday, prompting the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine to say that “the UN does not even make sense.”
The performance of the UN and its secretary-general in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been hotly debated, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “illogical” and that the secretary-general will meet Putin first and only then. direction to Ukraine.
Last week, more than 200 former UN leaders wrote a letter to António Guterres urging him to be more active in this conflict.
The signatories warned that unless Guterres takes a more personal lead in mediating peace in Ukraine, the United Nations threatens not only its insignificance but its entire existence.
After his visit to Russia, Guterres is now heading to Ukraine, where he will meet with President Zelensk this Wednesday.
Transnistria announces a new attack The Security Council of the pro-Russian separatist republic of Transnistria between Moldova and Ukraine said there was a “third attack” in less than 24 hours in the separatist zone this Tuesday.
“There were three terrorist attacks in Pridnestrovie (Transnistria). Grenades were fired at a state security ministry building, two explosions at a radio TV center in Maiaki and an attack on a military unit in Parcan,” said the press service of separatist President Vadim Krasnoelski.
The local authorities did not provide further information on the attack on Parcan’s military unit, which has not yet been confirmed by independent sources.
The leader of the Separatist Enclave held a Security Council meeting at which he decided to “strengthen security measures.”
The Council of Europe considers the situation in Transnistria to be a “frozen conflict”, a military term describing a situation in which the conflict is latent after a crisis or war.
According to experts, Russia plans to take on Transnistria, which has about 1,500 troops, to attack Ukraine. If Putin takes this decision forward, there will be little “discardable room for maneuver” in the region, as Al Jazeera writes, because it is “economically dependent” on Russia to provide them with gas for free.