UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is set to meet separately with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine next week to make urgent, face-to-face pleas for peace, the world body said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Guterres is to meet Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and that Putin will also host the U.N. chief.
The U.N. later said that Guterres will head Thursday to Ukraine to see President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
In both visits, Guterres aims to discuss “steps that can be taken right now” to stop the fighting and help people get to safety, U.N. spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.
“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” she said.
Guterres had asked Tuesday to meet with the presidents in their respective capitals.
Guterres has urged Russia to stop its attack since it began two months ago, in what he called “the saddest moment” in his five years in the U.N. s top job. He appealed Tuesday for a four-day “humanitarian pause” in fighting leading up to Sunday s Orthodox Easter holiday.
“Stop the bloodshed and destruction. Open a window for dialogue and peace,” he implored.
Guterres sent the U.N. s top humanitarian official to Moscow and Kyiv earlier this month to explore the possibilities of a cease-fire.