UN says peace deal between Russia and Ukraine unlikely

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The UN secretary-general struck an ominous tone on Wednesday when asked about his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the possibility of a peace deal with Ukraine.

“It was clear to us that right now there is no immediate chance of a peace agreement or immediate chance of a global ceasefire,” António Guterres told reporters. .

FILE - In this May 7, 2019 file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is pictured during an interview at United Nations Headquarters.
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FILE – In this May 7, 2019 file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is pictured during an interview at United Nations Headquarters.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

UKRAINE DEATH TOLL ‘IN THOUSANDS MORE’ THAN RECORDED, SAYS UN OFFICIAL

Guterres said the UN was instead focusing on humanitarian needs and coordinating evacuations with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross from devastated areas in Ukraine.

He said the UN was still working to facilitate channels between Kyiv and Moscow to facilitate evacuations and humanitarian corridors in the war-torn nation.

The UN chief unequivocally condemned the illegal invasion of Moscow and said its devastation was seeping beyond Ukraine’s borders.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing massive havoc, destruction and suffering in the country, causing the biggest displacement in Europe since World War II – and sending shockwaves through the region and around the world” , he told reporters. “This senseless war must stop.”

António Guterres met Putin late last month to call for the safe evacuation of hundreds of civilians, including women, children and the elderly, from Mariupol, the site of some of the heaviest bombings since the start. of the Russian invasion at the end of February.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as they meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as they meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
(Vladimir Astapkovich, Sputnik, Kremlin swimming pool photo via AP)

CIVILIAN LOSSES IN UKRAINE SURPASSES 7,000 UNDER RUSSIAN INVASION: UN REPORT

The UN chief appeared hopeless after the meeting. A Putin spokesman later said the Kremlin agreed “in principle” with the concept of humanitarian evacuations.

Although the remaining women, children and elderly people were finally evacuated from the Azovstal plant two weeks later, it remains unclear whether the civilian men have been forced to stay and what will happen to the soldiers. locked in the tunnels of the factory.

António Guterres appears to have no additional knowledge of Putin’s plans in Ukraine after his visit to Moscow last month.

When asked what he thought was Putin’s “endgame”, he scoffed and said, “If I knew that, I would have divination abilities.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, welcomes UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, welcomes UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 26.
(Maxim Shipenkov/Pool Photo via AP)

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“I hope nothing will last forever. This war will not last forever,” said António Guterres. “There will be a time when peace negotiations are on the table, there will be a time when I hope it will be possible to have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, a solution to the problem .

“But I can tell you one thing: we will never give up,” he added.

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