As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I came to Moscow as messenger of peace. My objective and my agenda is strictly linked to save lives and to reduce suffering – @antonioguterres speaking to the press in Moscow. Reading opening remarks 👉 https://t.co/1rShd57kkY pic.twitter.com/6359RBW5aS
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) April 26, 2022
The UN chief was in the Russian capital for talks with the country’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. He will also be received by President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Guterres told reporters that he had held “a very frank discussion” with Mr. Lavrov “and it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine.”
Russia has said it is conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine, while for the UN, the 24 February invasion is a violation of the country’s territorial integrity and goes against the UN Charter.
“But it is my deep conviction that the sooner we end this war, the better – for the people of Ukraine, for the people of the Russian Federation, and those far beyond,” he said.
Underlining his role as a “messenger of peace”, the Secretary-General recalled that the UN has repeatedly appealed for ceasefires to protect civilians, as well as political dialogue towards a solution, which so far has not happened.
Referring to the “violent battle” underway across the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, he noted that many civilians are being killed, and hundreds of thousands are trapped by the conflict, adding that repeated reports of violations, as well as possible war crimes, will require independent investigation for effective accountability.